Mail Scam Woman ‘Steals’ NGO’s $80 000


A WOMAN from Bulawayo allegedly swindled a Christian Non-Governmental Organisation of more than $80 000 through forging invoices and receipts.

Hazel Chawanda Matenga (43) of Sauerstown suburb and formerly employed by Child Care Ministries appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya facing 49 counts of fraud involving $80 839,54.

She was remanded out of custody to March 29 on $100 bail pending trial at the Regional Court.

Matenga was ordered to reside at her given address and to report at Sauerstown Police Station twice a week. She was also ordered to surrender her passport as part of the bail conditions.

At the time of committing the alleged offence, Matenga was employed by Child Care Ministries as its Country Co-ordinator. Her duties included facilitating the shipment of child sponsorship documents to the organisation’s partners in the United States of America.

Prosecuting, Miss Leanne Nkomo said between January 29, 2013 and January 24 this year, Matenga generated cash requisitions and fake invoices purported to have originated from DHL with inflated figures reflecting the purported costs incurred in sending mail to the United States of America.

As a result of the misrepresentation, Child Care Ministries released $80 839, 54 in cash to her.

Miss Nkomo said after receiving the money from the United States on behalf of Child Care Ministries through bank transfers and cash, Matenga would inflate figures before paying out the actual varying amounts to DHL. She would then pocket the remainder before presenting fake receipts purportedly from DHL as proof of payment.

The offence was discovered when one of the employees at Child Care Ministries decided to verify the invoices and receipts with DHL, which declared that the documents did not originate from the organisation.

A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of Matenga.