DISMISSED City of Harare quarry manager Stuart Murata nearly swindled council of $620 000 after he allegedly presented a fictitious reinstatement letter and demanded a backdated salary payment.
Report by Charles Laiton, Senior Court Reporter
Murata (53) was employed by the council as a manager in charge of the crusher station, but his employment was terminated following misconduct charges in 2004.
In May this year, Murata is said to have written a letter to the council chamber secretary demanding reinstatement, but his application was thrown out, prompting him to appeal against his employer’s decision at the High Court.
In his court application, Murata allegedly attached a fictitious reinstatement letter dated June 1, 2012 purportedly authored by the City of Harare human resources department, confirming his reinstatement with effect from June 4, 2004.
In the fictitious document,Murata claimed he was owed
$622 805 by the council for the period August 1, 2004 to May 31, 2012. The letter also claimed that the local authority would pay Murata $50 000 per month plus a monthly salary from June this year until the salary arrears were cleared. However, the fictitious documents were intercepted before the council had made any payments to Murata, leading to his arrest on Wednesday last week.
Murata was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei on three counts of fraud.
He was remanded out of custody on $500 bail. The court also heard that sometime in March last year, Murata allegedly swindled a local businessman of a total of $146 866 in a botched chrome deal.
Murata is alleged to have duped the complainant into believing he exported chrome. After receiving the cash, Murata is said to have failed to deliver and converted the money to his use.
On yet another charge, Murata is alleged to have duped another businessman claiming he was selling cattle which,however, proved to be non-existent after he had been paid.