Family in voter education fraud

Zvikomborero Parafini

FOUR people appeared in court on charges of fraud for allegedly creating fake paperwork that allowed them to participate as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials in the voter education programme.

The four, who include Ardon Chivandire, an accountant in the Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution Office, his wife Priscilla Mapiki, daughter Charmaine Chivandire and his uncle, Ishmael Ndiurayei, appeared in court at the weekend.

ZEC is currently preparing for Wednesday’s harmonised elections and requires a significant number of individuals to assist with the election processes.

Ardon, having been seconded to ZEC, used his knowledge of procedures to include his family members in the voter education programme.

However, their scam was discovered last month when ZEC changed its payment system from cash to salary through the Salary Services Bureau, and his wife, daughter and uncle were exposed as not government employees.

Realising that his family would be flushed out by the payment system, Ardon tried in vain to persuade Sheila Nyabadza, a ZEC human resource officer, to remove them from the schedule of payments.

ZEC engaged the Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution office, and it was found that Ardon’s wife, daughter and uncle weren’t civil servants, and therefore couldn’t be election officers, leading to their arrest.

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