HomeLocal NewsDiamond boss acquitted

Diamond boss acquitted

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A Harare diamond college boss Bernard Mahara Mutanga, who was facing allegations of swindling a business partner of $100 000 in a diamond purchase deal, was yesterday acquitted of the charges.

Mutanga, the chief executive officer of Braitwood Institute of Gemology, was absolved of any wrongdoing when he appeared before regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire.

“The matter remains largely a civil dispute. It must also be noted that African Star Diamonds has a pending civil lawsuit against Braitwood Institute of Gemology at the High Court,” Nemadire said.

“If accused (Mutanga) had stolen the money, African Star Diamonds should have reported the matter to the police immediately rather than wait and initially talk of settlement of debt.”

The magistrate said the evidence before the court showed Mutanga never intended to defraud African Star Diamonds, represented by Hatineti Kevin Sachikonye.

The court ruled Sachikonye’s evidence was not corroborated in any way.

He said the State should have called a person only identified as Rushwaya who could have testified in court to give a clear picture of what actually transpired when Mutanga and Sachikonye entered into the diamond-buying deal.

“If Rushwaya had been called to testify, she should have made a big difference in the matter given that she was available when the agreement was done,” the magistrate said.

The magistrate further said Mutanga’s evidence of what transpired on March 4 2011 was more probable after he told the court the money paid to him by Sachikonye was meant for training Sachikonye’s students.

The court heard Braitwood Institute of Gemology entered into an agreement with African Star Diamonds where it would offer practical lessons to the latter’s students.

Mutanga denied ever misrepresenting to Sachikonye, but told the court the money was used for students’ lessons.

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