Two beer outlets in Bulawayo and Esigodini recently lost $3 500 cash to an alleged impostor of Tongai Moyo’s Utakataka Express band manager, a Bulawayo magistrate heard last week.
The court heard that the suspect, Matesu Puraene, approached the liquor outlets sometime last year and collected the money after making false promises that he would organise for the sungura musician to perform at the venues.
Puraene (37) of Mbizo suburb denied the fraud charge when he appeared before magistrate Rose Dube.
The court heard Puraene used to be Tongai’s band manager. He was remanded to August 5 on $200 bail.
On September 20 last year, Puraene allegedly met the complainant, Jorum Moyo, at Savemor Supermarket in Bulawayo. Jorum is the director at Jabula Inn Nite Club in Esigodini.
Puraene introduced himself as Utakataka Express band manager.
He allegedly offered to organise a show at the club at a cost of $2 000 just to promote the business.
An agreement was reached by the two and Jorum allegedly paid a deposit of $2 000.
Puraene allegedly assured Jorum the show was going to be held on October 31 of the same year.
But, a few days later he became evasive, prompting the liquor outlet owner to contact the band leader whereupon he was told Puraene was no longer the manager of the band.
On November 14 last year, Puraene met Tapiwa Gandi of Barham Green in Bulawayo and using the same method, allegedly defrauded the latter of $1 500 cash.
Gandi later made inquiries with Tongai who distanced himself from the alleged fraudster.
A report was made to the police, leading to Puraene’s arrest.