FIDELITY Printers and Refiners’ gold operations head, Mehluleli Dube, appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on Friday charged with criminal abuse of office or alternatively defeating the course of justice after he allegedly failed to stop a business transaction between his employer and Malvern Chimutashu, a gold buyer.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Magistrate Lucy Mungwari remanded the matter to December 14 for trial.
Allegations are that on June 13 this year, Chimutashu, who was representing Venmari Investments misrepresented to one Blessmore Chanakira that he had 225 000 litres of diesel in Msasa which he was selling for $234 000.
Chanakira deposited the money into Venmari Investments’ Cabs Bank account. Chimutashu then allegedly used part of the money amounting to $183 000 to procure gold from Fidelity Printers and Refiners through a bank transfer.
When Chanakira discovered that he had been duped by Chimutashu, he demanded a refund and one Moyo of Fidelity Printers and Refiners instructed Chimutashu to write a letter of reversal of funds paid for the purchase of gold.
Chimutashu went on to write the letter and deliver it to Dube in the presence of Chanakira who clarified that the funds used to procure the gold was part of proceeds of a fraud committed by the accused.
On June 14, Chanakira reported Chimutashu to Assistant Inspector Mudzimukunze. The latter then called Fidelity Printers and Refiners to inquire about the case and was answered by Dube.
Dube allegedly assured Mudimukunze that he had temporarily stopped the transaction until the police provided a warrant of search and seizure order from the court.
Dube later indicated to Mudzimukunze that the transaction had gone through. The State alleges Dube deliberately allowed the transaction to sail through, thereby, defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
Epraim Zinyandu appeared for the State.