Duo reaps US$7,500 in fake school enrolment fees

HARARE – Two Harare men landed in the dock Friday for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting parents of US$7,500 in child enrolment fees in a school that had been ordered to shut down by authorities.

The two, Thomas Mutsvene, 38, and Tariro Patsikadova, 45, appeared before magistrate Dennis Mangosi charged with fraud.

Alternatively, they are being charged with operating an unregistered school as defined in section 15(1) of the Education Act.

They were released on $40,000 bail each coupled with reporting conditions.

According to the State, the two lied to 60 parents in Dzivarasekwa that they were running a school.

They collected US$7,500 from the parents, supposedly as fees, but failed to enroll the children into the school.

Court heard Mutsvene posed as the Headmaster while Patsikadova was the School Development Committee Chairman.

They promised that the school would open on January 9 this year well aware their school was not registered and the local authority was already making efforts to shut it down.

“The two accused persons took money amounting to US$7 500-00 from the complainants knowing that their school was not registered and that it was to be taken over by the Harare City Council.

“Thereafter, the two failed to enroll the children thereby prejudicing the complainants of the above-mentioned amount of money.

“The sixty (60) complainants are now entitled to pay an amount of US$70-00 per child to Harare City Council for registration and fees at the same school for the same enrolment period,” read court papers.

They were remanded to April 20 pending the continuation of an investigation into the allegations.

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