Aspiring nurses duped of US$7 000 by bogus employment agents

By Staff Reporter

Eight aspiring nurses were duped of over US$7,000 by bogus employment agencies they engaged to assist in securing vacancies at Sally Mugabe hospital, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

For the crime, two suspects, Effort Chirandata (45) and Martha Chitumba (54), appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi charged with fraud.

They were not asked to plead.

Court remanded Chitumba in custody pending bail hearing.

His alleged accomplice was granted US$100 bail.

Representing the state, Rufaro Chonzi told court that the suspects worked together to swindle Shyline Mandipasa, Victoria Sale, Faith Wachekwa, Rudo Chaya, Memory Khumbula, Tungamirirai Ndangurwa, Bright Dhanda and Mica Masokovere out of a combined US$7,780.

In committing the crime, it is alleged, Chirandata would lure unsuspecting clients and refer them to Chitumba as the link who could help them secure trainee vacancies at the hospital.

“Between 01 January 2023 and 30 August 2023, the accused (Chirandata) approached and convinced clients that she had a friend who had a link and capacity to facilitate enrolment of student nurse trainees at Harare Hospital upon payment of US$1,000.

“She supplied accused two’s NetOne cell number to clients and whoever called her she would just confirm that the deal was genuine.

“The complainants who were in desperate need of the job and some even paying for their children made payments of various amounts of money ranging from US$350 to US$1,000.

“Money was paid through accused one who would then meet and share the loot with accused two (Chitumba).

“To keep full control of the project, accused one opened and administrated a WhatsApp group using her daughter Lissa Chirandata’s account, into which she incorporated all her victims.

“Chirandata guaranteed the victims automatic entry with no interviews. She further supplied through the WhatsApp group accused two’s cell number for inquiries,” the State further alleged.

It is alleged that on January 6, Chirandata allegedly sent a message on the WhatsApp group advising her clients to proceed to Harare Hospital on 8 January 2024 and told them that Chitumba would give them their offer letters to commence training.

However, when the complainants arrived at Harare Hospital, Chitumba was reportedly nowhere to be found.

The complainants then tried to contact her and but the only explanation that Chitumba gave was that there were some challenges that had caused her to fail to meet up.

She later became evasive, prompting the eight to report the matter.

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