A Harare businessman appeared at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court last week for allegedly swindling a senior prison officer and a prison poultry project of 95 chickens worth $650 after misrepresenting he would pay the full amount after a fortnight.
Tinashe Mutambudzi (25) of Sunningdale 2 in Harare was not asked to plead to two counts of fraud when he briefly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Thobekile Mkhosana-Matimbe.
He was remanded in custody to July 22. Mutambudzi, whose company name was not disclosed in court but is believed to supply restaurants and hotels with various foodstuffs, was not asked to plead to the charge.
State counsel Tinashe Dzipe told the court on February 11, Mutambudzi called Superintendent Sabina Sondo of the Zimbabwe Prison Services and told her he wanted to buy 80 live chickens from her.
Sondo allegedly invited him to her home in Northend in the city where Mutambudzi allegedly advised her he had no money, but would pay for the birds after two weeks.
Unsuspecting, Sondo gave him the chickens.
On the same day, he allegedly approached another prison officer, Phillip Nkomo who runs a Bulawayo ZPS poultry project and got 15 chickens after promising to pay for them after a fortnight.
Eight days later, Mutambudzi allegedly went back to Nkomo’s home, borrowed $150 cash, after impressing on her he had encountered an urgent problem. He promised to pay back the money a few days later.
However, Mutambudzi allegedly became elusive later, leading the pair to report him to police. Police immediately launched a manhunt, leading to Mutambudzi’s arrest last weekend.