The Minister of State in Vice- President Joice Mujuru’s Office Sylvester Robert Nguni was duped by a bogus fuel dealer who swindled him of
$10 350 which was meant to buy 10 000 litres of fuel.
The minister is said to have responded to an advertisement in the local press where Davison Mutakaya, in connivance with one Lamuel Marimo, sought bulk fuel buyers at reduced price.
According to state papers, the fuel which the minister had ordered from the bogus dealers was supposed to be delivered to his service station at Mubayira Growth Point in Mhondoro.
It is alleged on the day in question, sometime in July 2009, Mutakaya of Waterfalls flighted an advertisement in a local paper as the director of Petronas Zimbabwe inviting bulk fuel buyers to contact him. He was allegedly using the name Chizema.
Nguni is said to have contacted Mutakaya on the phone who allegedly identified himself as Chizema whereupon he placed an order for 10 000 litres of fuel which was to be paid for through a bank transfer.
The minister transferred the money into Mutakaya’s account and an RTGS copy was sent to Mutakaya but was received by his alleged accomplice Marimo, the director of Legitimate Designers, who was operating at Zimta House in Harare.
Marimo was the first to appear in court last year facing the same charge as Mutakaya was allegedly on the run.
Upon receiving confirmation of payment, Mutakaya is said to have delivered 2 900 litres of fuel to the minister’s service station at Mubayira Growth Point but never delivered the remaining 7 100 litres.
Efforts to get the remaining fuel or a refund from Mutakaya proved fruitless as he allegedly continued to offer flimsy excuses prompting the minister to report the matter to the police and leading to his arrest.
Nguni is not the only victim of the fraud. Several other people also fell prey to the alleged bogus fuel dealers who used the same modus operandi in duping individuals and companies.
Richard Ian Robinson, the director of Guard Alert, is said to have responded to the same advertisement for cheap fuel and placed an order of 5 000 litres of fuel.
Robinson paid $5 500 for his order but only 2 800 litres valued at $3 083 were delivered.
The other victims of the same scam, Chester Nhamo Mhende and Eliger Meskano, also responded to the same advertisement to procure bulk fuel on different dates and paid a total amount of $13 400 to Petronas Zimbabwe.
However Mutakaya is alleged to have swindled the money without delivering the commodity to the purchasers.
Mutakaya appeared before regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa who remanded him in custody after state prosecutor Valerie Ngoma opposed bail on the grounds that Mutakaya was facing 37 other fraud cases and had the propensity to commit similar crimes.
Mutakaya was brought before magistrate Kachambwa from Court-Six where he had appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei facing seven counts of fraud involving $45 200.
Mutakaya was remanded in custody to January 21.