A 42-year-old Harare businessman, George Mushambwi, was last week arrested and charged with fraud for allegedly swindling a business counterpart of $14 500 in a botched lease deal.
The complainant in the matter was not identified in court papers, but Mushambwi appeared before provincial magistrate Shane Kubonera facing a charge of fraud.
He was not asked to plead and was remanded to July 27 on $100 bail.
According to prosecutor Svodai Kadivirire on September 15 last year, Mushambwi, who operates Nova Electrical, allegedly approached the complainant and advised him he had a shop to lease in the city centre.
The complainant is said to have shown interest and Mushambwi allegedly indicated he wanted $1 500 monthly rentals, which he wanted paid three months in advance.
The State alleges Mushambwi further asked for a refundable goodwill in the sum of $10 000 and the complainant paid $14 000.
However, when the complainant went to occupy the shop in October last year, Mushambwi allegedly advised him the move was no longer possible.
Mushambwi allegedly told the complainant the real owner of the building had declined to lease the shop.
The complainant then asked for a refund and Mushambwi only paid back $9 000.
Efforts by the complainant to get a full refund proved fruitless, prompting him to make a police report, leading to Mushambwi’s arrest.