LABOUR and Social Security Minister Joyce Simukoko yesterday testified against her secretary who is said to have forged her signature and stole K10,000.
The minister told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that her sitting-in secretary Nyembezi Masiye forged a cheque in her names and stole K10, 000 from her account which was meant to be donated to an orphanage.
This is in a matter where Masiye, of Chilenje Township is facing three counts of forgery, uttering false documents and theft.
It is alleged that on August 26,2019 Masiye, with intent to defraud and deceive, forged cheque number 000354 purporting to show that the signatory had paid her K15,000 when in fact it was a false.
It is alleged on October 10,2019 Masiye uttered a false cheque number 000354 to Indo Zambia Bank.
And in the third count, it is on the same date alleged that, Masiye stole K10,000 belonging to Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Simukoko.
When the matter came up for trial before Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma, Simukoko, said on August 26,2019 whilst rushing out of her office for a meeting, she partly filled in a cheque in the sum of K, 5000 before she left which was to be donated to Catholic sisters at Kabwangwe as part of charity work.
“I filled in the amount in figure K5, 000 on the cheque, the date and my signature but I could not finish. I was in a hurry and I knew the sisters would come to pick it so I instructed Ms Masiye to fill in the name of the orphanage, Kabangwe,” she said.
Simukoko said two months later after signing the said cheque she did not receive any feedback from the orphanage confirming receipt of the K5, 000 or not.
She said she wondered why she did not get feedback from the sisters, as they normally acknowledged receipt of the money.
“A week later, I received an SMS from Indo Zambia Bank that there has been a K15, 000 debt account. I then went to the bank the following day and i was shown a cheque paid to Ms Masiye in the sum of K15,000.” Simukoko said
“The check was supposed to go to Kabwangwe orphanage in the sum of K5000. I discovered that the amount on the cheque had a one fused in, before the five inorder to make it K15, 000.” Simukoko said.
She told the court that the K15, 000 written in words on the cheque was in Masiye’s handwriting as she knew her acting secretary’s handwriting because she worked with her for three months whilst she was waiting for another secretary to be sent to her office.