A 27-year-old Seke villager who allegedly defrauded several people of thousands of dollars through Ecocash while purporting to be representing top Zanu PF and MDC-T officials yesterday appeared in court facing a $5 000 fraud charge.
Blessing Mazarura (27) of Murisa Village under Chief Seke was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei.
He was remanded out of custody to July 28 2014 on $100 bail.
Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that between January and June this year, Mazarura registered Econet mobile phone lines in the names of Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo, Masvingo Central legislator Daniel Shumba, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, Lands and Rural Resettlement deputy minister Tendai Savanhu, MDC-T MP for Mutare Central Innocent Gonese and Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) board chairperson Basil Nyabadza.
The court heard that during that period, Mazarura would phone different people using the Econet lines claiming that he had been sent by the ministers to inform them that they had qualified for the agricultural inputs scheme and other farm implements.
It is further alleged that he told the people to deposit various amounts of money into the said lines so that he would supply them with fertiliser. He allegedly instructed the complainants to go and collect their receipts from the local council offices as proof of payment.
He would then withdraw the money and convert it to his own use, the court heard. A source privy to the case, however, tipped off police detectives who then tracked down Mazarura, leading to his arrest last Friday.
Mazarura was found in possession of handsets and two Econet lines registered in the names of Shumba and Mutezo, which he was allegedly using to commit the offence, the court heard.
Call history records were traced and allegedly indicated that he had indeed used the mobile lines at the said times.
Two Econet lines were recovered from his wallet.
Total prejudice was $4 867 and nothing was recovered.