A Zimbabwean is facing jail in Australia after defrauding the Royal Darwin Hospital of almost $150,000.

John Zvimba, 44, has pleaded guilty to a single count of obtaining benefit by deception between September 2016 and March 2017.

Zvimba had a senior job in maintenance at the hospital and awarded electrical work to an alleged co-offender, which was paid for but never done.

The scheme cost the taxpayer $148,031, and was uncovered after a rival electrical contractor reported the work had not been done. An internal investigation revealed Zvimba’s alleged co-offender, who was supposed to complete the electrical work, never signed in the secure areas of the hospital where the work was supposed to be performed.

The court heard Zvimba lied to police during his interview, and said he was unable to remember key details of his crime when confronted with the paper trail he had left behind.

Barrister John Adams, defending, said Zvimba was ashamed of what he had done. “He can’t explain it,” Mr Adams said. “All I can offer to your honour is he is well educated.

“He can’t explain it, I can’t explain it.” Zvimba will be sentenced on February 2.