The office of the Attorney-General has decided to charge a Mutare businesswoman, Elizabeth Nyathi, of swindling Arda Seeds of 315 tonnes of seed maize worth $483 000.
Initially, when Nyathi appeared before regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire two months ago, she was charged as a representative of her company, Laksem.
But according to the State, the company is non-existent and Nyathi runs a shop by the name Pass Supperite in Mutare.
However, Nyathi defaulted court on Monday when her trial was supposed to start and has since been issued with a warrant of arrest.
She is now being charged with contravening Section 385 (3) (v) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which reads:
“The citation of a director or employee of a corporate to represent that corporate body in any criminal proceedings instituted against it, shall not exempt that director or employee from prosecution for that offence in his personal capacity.”
Prosecutor Michael Reza presented that during the 2010 Agricultural Show, Nyathi, approached Arda Seeds who were keen to have a sales agent in Mutare.
Since Nyathi was operating Pass Supperite shop in Mutare, she approached Arda Seeds, Borrowdale offices and solicited to sell seeds on their behalf.
As a result, the two parties entered into a seed-selling agency contract in which Nyathi was to be Arda Seeds Mutare agent.
The terms and conditions of the signed agreement were that Nyathi would be supplied with seeds and remit the proceeds of the sale within 14 days.
Pursuant to the deal, Arda Seeds allegedly supplied Nyathi with 315 tonnes of seeds between August and September for which proceeds were allegedly not remitted.
Upon realising no remittances were being made Arda Seeds officials went to Mutare where they discovered that only 30 tonnes of seeds worth $49 040 were in stock.
Nyathi is alleged to have failed to account for the bulk of the sold seeds prompting Arda Seeds to report the matter, leading to her arrest.