HARARE magistrate Elijah Makomo yesterday issued a warrant of arrest against suspended Star FM programmes manager Tichafa Matambanadzo after he defaulted a routine remand hearing at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Matambanadzo’s name was called out three times as per procedure so that he could appear in court, but he was nowhere to be found.
Popularly known as Tich Mataz, the disc jockey–cum–businessman is facing allegations of defrauding his employer of over $126 000 through a scheme in which he allegedly converted advertising revenue to his personal use.
He was charged with fraud as defined under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and is on $300 bail.
Matambanadzo allegedly misrepresented to some clients that Star FM did not have the capacity to produce certain programmes and claimed he was an agent for the broadcaster through Hamtech Investments and Onesay Investments.
He then allegedly created fraudulent letters using Star FM’s letterheads purporting that the radio station had contracted Hamtech and Onesay to create adverts on its behalf.
Consequently, the court heard, organisations including Copac, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the European Union, the US Embassy, Ster Kinekor and OK Zimbabwe approached Hamtech and Onesay and placed their adverts, which were later produced and advertised by Star FM at a total cost $104 932,. 80.
It is further alleged that Star FM was also prejudiced in the form of barter deals entered into with Goldtech and Cellone Electronics in which the radio station would provide radio air time for the said companies in exchange for electrical gadgets such as laptops and cellphones worth $21 807 which Matambanadzo converted to his own use.