TAFADZWA Tandi-Chingono (31), who played the character of James in the popular local soap Studio 263, who is facing allegations of swindling a Harare man of over $20 000 in a botched wedding deal, yesterday denied that he ever claimed that he organised Bona Mugabe’s wedding to Simba Chikore.
In his defence entered before Harare magistrate Elijah Makono, the actor–cum–dancer, also known as Hillary Indi (31), accused the complainant, Alexander Guni, and his wife of frustrating his efforts to plan their wedding by raising unfounded allegations against him.
“This matter borders on purely a civil dispute.
“He made efforts to organise the wedding. However, the complainants prematurely frustrated the fulfilment of the contract by raising spurious allegations,” Chingono’s lawyer Stead Kachere said.
This was after Guni had told the court that Chingono told him that he had planned and organised the famous Simba and Bona wedding in March this year.
“He told me that he was the resident planner at Cresta Lodge Hotel and also that he had planned several weddings including Simba and Bona Mugabe’s wedding,” said Guni.
“As a medical doctor, I really wanted to have a good wedding.”
Guni said he had trust in Chingono because he was a friend of his wife, Christine Hamilton, and a son of Kubi Indi, a renowned Zimbabwean development activist and businesswoman.
The State, represented by George Manokore, alleged that in March 2014, Chingono approached Guni and told him that he had organised several high-profile weddings.
Guni allegedly got impressed by Chingono’s profile and immediately hired him.
Guni is said to have offered a $40 000 payment and Chingono pledged that he would bring receipts as proof of payment for materials purchased and other services.
Chingono allegedly received $20 000 as part payment for the work at an undisclosed date.
He later brought a list of alleged fictitious payments he had made on a Miracle Magic Weddings company letterhead.
The court heard that Guni became suspicious when he discovered that the letterhead was different from the one given at the initial stages of the deal.
He realised that he had been duped and reported the matter to the police on July 16, leading to Chingono’s arrest.
Guni suffered a prejudice of $23 500 and only $3 000 has been recovered to date.