TWO of the 70 employees suspended by Mimosa Mining Company over a salary scandal have appeared at the Zvishavane Magistrates Court facing fraud charges. Two months ago, the platinum miner suspended 70 workers for allegedly altering their time sheets and making fictitious acting allowance claims.

The mine was allegedly prejudiced of over US$500 000 by a syndicate of workers from the mining and accounts sections who allegedly manipulated signatures that authorise overtime and acting allowances.

Prosper Vundurai (40) and Lazarus Madziva (51) are the prime suspects in a scam that saw over 70 employees, including management losing their jobs, after an internal audit revealed that some workers were earning extra allowances that did not tally with their grades.

Appearing before Zvishavane magistrate Achy Wochiunga, Vundurai and Madziva denied the charges and the matter was set for trial on October 24.

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According to prosecutor Faith Mwale, during the period extending from June 6 2017 to January 26, 2018, Madziva was employed by Mimosa Mine as a magazine master and his duties were to order, receive and distribute explosives for the mine, while Vundurai was a mining clerk responsible for time sheets.

During the course of his work, Madziva and several other employees connived with Vundurai to raise fictitious acting allowance forms purporting, for instance, that one acted in the capacity of mine captain (managerial position) for a series of shifts.

It is alleged that Vundurai would then send the fictitious forms to the mine pay office for payments and he would get a certain percentage of the earnings.

Mimosa Mine is being represented by chief security officer Pagaravanhu Rwatirera.