A HARARE petrol attendant was yesterday saved a possible jail term after a client he had defrauded in a cash swipe transaction withdrew the charge at the last minute and agreed to an out-of-court settlement of the matter.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Isaac Chimombe had his case withdrawn after he had already pleaded guilty to the charges and when his family members had paid $116 fraudulently stolen from complainant Francis Chigutsa’s bank debit card.
Prosecutor Molly Murozvi was surprised to see Chigutsa tendering his withdrawal affidavit in court way after Chimombe had pleaded guilty.
Magistrate Rumbidzai Dzumbira then accepted the affidavit, before she formally withdrew the charges.
State facts were that on August 11 this year, Chigutsa went to a service station in Harare and purchased fuel worth $20 using his POSB debit card and was served by Chimombe.
After the transaction went through, Chimombe switched Chigutsa’s bank debit card with another client’s POSB debit card and the complainant drove away oblivious of the scam.
Chigutsa then proceeded to a food outlet at Fife Avenue shopping centre intending to buy food with the switched debit card, but the transaction was declined.
He then drove back to the service station to verify from Chimombe why his card was being declined and the latter claimed that it could be because of a network failure.
Five days later, Chigutsa proceeded to POSB with his debit card to enquire on his debit card and he discovered that the debit card he had was not his.
Chigutsa then demanded a bank statement, where he discovered that $116 had been fraudulently withdrawn from his bank account by Chimombe, leading to the attendant’s arrest.