DEPUTY Director of Youth Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Ester Riwa appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with embezzlement of funds and forging payment lists for journalists and other people.
She denied the charges, which also include using a document to mislead her principal, before Resident Magistrate Victoria Mwaikambo. The magistrate granted her bail on condition of securing two reliable sureties, who were each required to sign bond of 30m/-.
The case was adjourned to September 3, 2019, when it comes up for mention, as investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution led by an officer with Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Paschal Magabe, have not been completed.
It is alleged that the accused person committed the offences between May 11 and June 30, 2015 at the offices of the ministry within Ilala District in Dar es Salaam.
The prosecution told the court that with intent to defraud, the accused made a false payment list titled “Posho ya Kujikimu Maafisa wa Wilaya” purporting to show that Tumaini Christopher and others attended the Youth Engagement Project in Singida Region and were each paid 32,500/= as half per diem.
According to the prosecution, the accused had intended to show that the district officials had attended the workshop between March 11 and 19, 2015, while it was not true.
Other officials alleged to have attended are John Clement, Mbelike Monica, Sophia Msangi and Goodluck Mlau. The rest are Othman Said, Yusuph Kingo, Cuthbert Mwinuka, Samwel Ernest, Isaya Adam, John Patrick Mwajuma Msengi, Emmanuel Mushili, Josephine Kadundu and Focus Marwa. It is alleged that the accused also forged another list titled “Posho ya Kujikimu Maafisa wa Mkoa.”
In that document, the prosecution alleged, one Yusuph Makula was paid 32,500/- as half per diem for attending the Youth Engagement Project in Singida Region between March 11 and 19, 2015, while it was not true.
The court heard also that within the same period at the office of the ministry in the city, the accused made a false payment list titled “Posho ya Kujikimu ya Waandishi wa Habari (Documentary)” showing that Phesthow Sanga from Standard Radio FM was paid at total sum of 1,030,000/-. It is alleged that the list also indicated one Emmanuel Michael being paid 100,000/-.
According to the prosecution, the accused had indicated that such payments were for media costs at the Youth Engagement Project, while it was not true.
Ester is also alleged to have made false receipts that Mwaju Shop and Temo Stationery were paid a total sum of 405,000/- purporting that such money had been spent as stationery costs during the Youth Engagement Project.
On May 25, 2015 at the ministry, being the Deputy Director of Youth Development, with intent to defraud his principal, Ester allegedly used a document titled “Marejesho ya Masurufu Maalum”, purporting to show that she spent 11,177,000/- during the workshop, while it was untrue.
It is alleged further that within the same period and place, the deputy director fraudulently misappropriated 5,425,000/- which was entrusted to her by the ministry.