THREE suspected fraudsters yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing charges of swindling a businessman of $290 000 in a botched goods and services supply deal.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Nyasha Matongorere (30), Macmillan Chidziva (34) and Fortune Magama, alias Masuku, whose age was not given, pleaded not guilty before magistrate, Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, who remanded them in custody to today for bail ruling.
The other suspect, Gracious Mukucha, was allegedly arrested at Harare International Airport, while coming from Hong Kong and is also expected to appear in court today.
Fortune Investments, a broking company, is identified as the complainant and is represented by Gabriel Maruwa.
The three are represented by Rungano Mahuni and Simon Mupindu.
Matongorere and Chidziva were employed by the complainant, while Magama is a director of Premall Investments.
It is the State’s case that sometime in August last year, Matongorere and Chidziva approached the complainant with the former claiming to be a buyer at BL-Harbert International, a company engaged by the United States embassy in Harare.
It is alleged they further said Matongorere had capacity to offer contracts of supplying goods and services to the complainant, since some of the companies contracted by BL-Harbert International were financially incapacitated.
The State alleges that the suspects arranged that Matongorere would pay the complainant the full purchase order value, as if she was the one who had offered the services to BL-Harbert.
The complainant and the purported company would then share the proceeds.
Acting upon the misrepresentation, it is alleged the complainant accepted the offer.
In October last year, Matongorere, Chidziva and Magama misrepresented to the complainant that Everule Investment and Elite Fuels had been offered contracts by BL-Harbert to the tune of $174 814.
The complainant then transferred $14 800 and $99 600 to the two companies to fund the projects, which the suspects converted to their own use.
The State alleges on October 3 and 25 and on three occasions, Matongorere, Chidziva and Magama again misrepresented to the complainant that Mukucha’s company, Premall Investments, had been contracted by BL-Harbert to the tune of $202 401 and as such the company needed funding of $147 780 to fullfil the contract and as a result the complainant transferred the money into Mukucha’s bank account.
Mukucha then reportedly withdrew the money and it was shared.
On November 25, the suspects again approached the complainant and misrepresented that another unnamed company had been offered a contract valued at $82 170 by BL-Harbert and needed $6 000 to fund the job as usual.
The money was transferred and they shared the loot.
The State alleges the complainant was given fake purchase orders from BL-Harbert, which they claimed would be paid on completion.
However, in January BL-Harbert disowned all the purchase orders given to the complainant and it reported the matter to the police, leading to their arrest.
Michael Reza appeared for the State.