A top Anglican cleric in Manicaland Province was this week arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on corruption allegations.
Anglican Diocese of Manicaland bishop, Eric Ruwona, members of the church’s standing committee, and four principals were arrested for collecting unsanctioned levies from their schools.
Bishop Ruwona (51), Walter Majoni (35), Daphine Mudarikwa (45), Danisa Muchichwa (40), and Promise Kunyongana (30), who constitute the church’s standing committee, were on Wednesday jointly hauled before Mutare magistrate, Prisca Manhibi, facing charges of contravening Section 21(1) (a) (b) of the Education Act, Chapter 25:04.
They were each granted $60 000 bail, and ordered to report once every Friday at CID Mutare, and not to interfere with State witnesses.
Mutare District Area public prosecutor, Tirivanhu Mutyasira told the court that the suspects resolved that parents and guardians of pupils were to pay a pre-conditional mission fund of US$500 for Form One, and US$900 for Form Five pupils before they could be enrolled in the Anglican Diocese schools.
He said there was no option of payment plan for the mission funds as it was supposed to be paid once-off.
As a result, the court heard, the parents and guardians were forced to pay US$276 250 at the five schools as mission funds.
The respective school principals were also dragged to court for demanding and collecting the mission funds.
Meanwhile, St David’s Bonda Girls’ and St Mathias Tsonzo high schools principals, Tafadzwa Matanhire (30) and Loveshaw Mupondi (27), respectively, appeared separately before Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi, facing extortion charges over the mission funds.
They were granted $40 000 bail each with reporting conditions.
St Mary’s Magdalene principal, Bazel Matikiti (53), and St Faith’s Daniso Muchichwa (40) appeared before Manhibi over the same case.
They were also granted $40 000 bail each.
The cases will go for trial on 4 November, and the State is in possession of receipts that were issued to the parents after paying the unauthorised mission funds.
Those who paid the pre-conditional mission funds were duly given offer letters which will be produced in court as well as evidence.