A former ZESA Holdings billing clerk yesterday appeared in court for allegedly defrauding the power utility of US$20 000 and $859 594.
Joseph Magusiwa of Kadoma was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi.
The court heard that as a prerequisite, all customers who buy electricity tokens through the prepaid platforms are required to have an electricity meter installed at their premises.
These meters can be bought by the clients or are supplied by ZESA.
In instances where one buys the meter, ZESA has a policy to refund the purchase cost.
The refund is made by crediting the equivalent cost in electricity tokens to the customer’s account.
It is the State’s case that Maguwisa and his accomplice, Darlington Chipatura, who was the principal systems analyst responsible for electricity tokens generation, abused the system by manipulating it to give credit refunds to customers who had no refunds.
It is alleged that between January 2018 and March 2021, the two would receive payments from the customers, pay a smaller amount to ZESA and pocket the difference.
The two also advertised that they were selling electricity tokens.
As a result, 242 clients who were not eligible for refunds contacted Maguwisa and gave him various amounts in US dollars as well as their ZESA meter numbers for the purchase of electricity tokens.
Maguwisa allegedly contacted Darlington Chiputura whom he gave the meter numbers to generate refunds and tokens which they were not eligible for.
The offence came to light after an internal audit.