Zanu PF Seke constituency Member of Parliament Phineas Chihota on Thursday appeared at Harare Magistrates’ Court charged with $30 000 fraud.
The MP is alleged to have swindled former Wallace Laboratories managing director David Tapera Mabuwa in a botched loan scam.
Mabuwa, who is the complainant in the matter, is also said to have lost his residential property after surrendering his title deeds as collateral to obtain a loan for Chihota.
According to prosecutor Zivanayi Makwanya, the MP, who is a shareholder in Wallace Laboratories, allegedly requested Mabuwa to secure a loan of $40 000 on behalf of the company.
This was after Chihota had allegedly written two guarantee letters which were to be used in securing the said loan.
It was allegedly agreed the loan was to be drawn against Mabuwa’s residential property and that he would surrender his title deeds as collateral.
The State alleges Chihota promised to pay back the money in future and Mabuwa proceeded to obtain a $30 000 loan from one Antioc Kurauone and surrendered his residential property’s title deeds.
However, after the agreed payback period of three months had elapsed, Mabuwa allegedly approached Chihota and asked for the money, but failed to recover it.
It is alleged the failure to pay back the loan prompted Kurauone to seize Mabuwa’s residential property and in the process, Mabuwa lost both the money and his house.
Efforts by Mabuwa to get his money from the MP proved fruitless, prompting him to report the case, leading to Chihota’s arrest.
Chihota was not asked to plead when he appeared before regional magistrate William Bhila facing a fraud charge.
The matter was remanded to next Wednesday for trial.