Villagers swindled of US$4 000 in school fees scam

Source: Villagers swindled of US$4 000 in school fees scam | The Herald

Villagers swindled of US$4 000 in school fees scam

Soul Mauruka in Gutu

Villagers in Ward 27 in Gutu were this week left counting their losses after some unidentified fraudsters believed to be from Harare allegedly swindled them of over US$4 000 in a bogus school relief payment scheme.

The suspects, who were working with a named councillor for the area, allegedly promised to unveil a school fees relief facility for over 1 000 vulnerable primary school children drawn from four targeted schools in the ward.

They allegedly asked every child at the four schools to pay US$1 each as a registration fee and allegedly collected over US$4 000 over a month-long period, before they vanished.

Efforts by the police and local traditional leadership to track down the suspects have so far yielded nothing as the phone numbers they supplied are repeatedly unreachable or are answered by strangers, according to sources.

Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa could not be reached for comment.

According to Chief Makore, whose area of jurisdiction covers Ward 27 in Gutu, the suspected fraudsters claimed to be working closely with a local non-governmental organisation, World Vision, when they came to his area floating the relief facility to desperate villagers.

Chief Makore urged police to get to the bottom of the matter saying the suspects could have even taken their phoney scheme to secondary schools in his area, but were stopped in their tracks and thereafter vanished from the area.

He demanded that all the duped villagers be restituted, saying it was criminal and heartless to swindle poor villagers of their hard-earned cash.

The chief vowed that people from his area who colluded with the suspected fraudsters would be punished.