Teacher arrested for fleecing parents

Cosmas Mukoko’s alleged “cash for places scam” was unearthed by the school head, Mrs Nyengeterai Nhemachena, as she was conducting an audit of admitted pupils. She discovered that there were four pupils attending lessons who were not on the enrolment list.

Mukoko, whose residential address was not given, was yesterday arraigned before Gweru provincial magistrate Mr Sithembinkosi Msipa facing four counts of fraud.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded on $100 bail to 28 January.

For the State, Mr Boniface Balamanja told the court that between 28 December last year and 3 January this year, Mukoko received calls from four parents  who were seeking Form One places at Chaplin High School.

The court heard that Mukoko then promised all the parents places and ordered them to pay $110 as fees each to him.

Mukoko allegedly indicated to the parents that he would take the money to the school accounts department but he allegedly converted the money to his own  use.

Mr Balamanja said Mukoko then advised all  the parents to buy uniforms for their children after convincing them that they had secured places.

The court heard that the parents then bought their children school uniforms and have been       sending their children to school since the opening day.

The pupils continued to report for school until early this week when the school head, Mrs Nhemachena, decided to conduct an audit of the pupils, who were admitted to the school for Form One.

The court heard that it was during this audit that the head discovered that four pupils were not on the enrolment list.

Mr Balamanja said parents of the affected pupils later reported the matter to the police after they discovered that Mukoko had duped them when their children were chased away.

Police investigation led to Mukoko’s arrest.

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