THE trial of three Capital Base Savings and Credit Co-operative Society executives facing charges of defrauding their clients of over $1 million resumed yesterday in Mutare with several of its former clients taking the witness stand.
The co-operative’s chairperson, Solomy Kambunda (34), secretary Kudzai Madziyire (21) and vice-chairperson Karen Emilia Gwanzura (20), together with their society are being charged with allegedly defrauding hundreds of their investors in Mutare.
However, the three denied the charge.
Charges against the executives, who were running a pyramid investment scheme, are that they registered a society operating in Mutare with an intention to defraud their clients.
The three allegedly submitted a list of names with forged signatures of clients purporting to be genuine members in order to deceive the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises to facilitate registration of their scheme.
The court heard that between 2012 and January last year, they allegedly advertised that they were operating an investment co-operative offering a lucrative 15% monthly interest rate for any capital injected.
As a result, several people fell for the trap and deposited different amounts into the scheme’s account.
The three then converted the money to their own use and bought several properties in Mutare.
The scheme ran for some months before being hit by hard times, resulting in it failing to repay the interest and the capital to its clients, leading to the current court case.
According to the State, the actual prejudice suffered is
$1 103 861.
One of the State witnesses, Zviratidzo Ngwarati, yesterday told the court that she sold her vehicle and deposited $3 600 in the scheme hoping to bump up her money.
She said she only received interest for about four to five months out of the six months expected and she was still owed outstanding capital of $3 600.
Several witnesses have been lined up to testify in the matter which attracted clients from even outside Mutare before it collapsed.
Masvingo regional magistrate Collet Ncube presided over the matter, while Mike Tembo prosecuted.