HARARE – The officer-in-charge of Highfield Police Station, Eyelet Gutu, was hauled before the courts after reportedly faking her husband’s death in a bid to illegally benefit from his funeral cover.
Gutu, 42, was granted $50 bail when she appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with fraud.
She was remanded to February 5 and ordered to continue residing at her Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Highfield residence and not interfere with witnesses as part of bail conditions.
Gutu was represented by Tawanda Takaendesa.
The complainant is ZRP represented by superintendent Munyaradzi Jacob Tundu, the chaplain for Harare province.
Gutu is currently in charge of ZRP Highfield Mess and Canteen.
According to State papers, ZRP Harare runs a Funeral Fund which was established in July 2009 to assist members during bereavement.
The court heard that each member would contribute $2 every month which also covered their family members.
After a waiting period of three months, a member would be entitled to benefits of up to $1 000, a generator, tent, two pots, 50 plates, 50 cups and a car to assist during the funeral.
Prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that sometime in May last year, Gutu joined the Funeral Fund and began paying her $2 monthly subscriptions.
It was alleged that Gutu registered Justice Chikava, her husband, as a dependent together with their three children.
The court that on January 6, Gutu hatched a plan to defraud the Funeral Fund and sent a text message to (inspector) Mizira, the officer-in-charge Harare projects misrepresenting that her husband had passed away in an accident on January 5.
Mizira then referred Gutu to Harare Central Funeral Fund offices to initiate the process of getting the money for funeral assistance.
When Gutu arrived at the offices, she was attended by Lawson Tinashe Baradzi who asked her to submit an affidavit to that effect.
The court heard that Gutu proceeded to write an affidavit misrepresenting that her husband had died on January 5 in a road accident at Mucheregi Farm.
According to State papers, Gutu was well aware that her husband was alive and commissioned the affidavit to the officer-in-charge Finance Edson Muridzo.
Gutu reportedly submitted the affidavit containing false information to Baradzi and her claim was processed.
The Funeral Fund transferred $1 000 into Gutu’s NBS bank account on January 8 only to later discover that her husband was alive and was never involved in any accident.
Gutu was confronted about the issue and she paid back $500, causing the Funeral Fund to be prejudiced of $500, the court heard.