A HARARE magistrate yesterday acquitted socialite and businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure of fraud charges after he was found not guilty of swindling Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna (Zanu PF) and a Kadoma gold dealer of R1 581 890 in a botched mining equipment supply deal.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Kadungure was initially charged together with Wicknell Chivayo before the latter was discharged at the close of the State case.
In passing judgment, magistrate Morgan Nemadire said the State should not have brought Chivayo and Kadungure to court because their prosecution was like a fishing expedition, where the State expected the duo to nail themselves.
“The prosecution took some fishing expedition when they brought the two accused persons before the court thinking they will convict themselves through inconsistent testimonies. This is a classic fishing expedition,” Nemadire said.
The magistrate said testimonies from seven witnesses brought by the State did not help the case in nailing Kadungure, as they did not incriminate him.
He further said eight exhibits which were submitted before the court, including e-mails purportedly from Marange Diamonds and the fictitious buyer called C Mukonori, did not link Kadungure to the offence.
“There are no essential elements of fraud in this matter as the accused never spoke to the complainants, Ivon Gatawa and Nduna before the transaction, did not misrepresent facts to them and nothing on this case touches on the evidence linking the accused person,” Nemadire further ruled.
“The fraudster and trickster in this case are invisible from the start to the end. The two victims’ money vanished from the South African firms Absa Bank accounts.
However, some of the money was traced to Pioneer Gas, but the culprits, one Blessing Shaya and Edward Teka, were prosecuted in South Africa for the same case and they returned some of the money to the complainants.”
Nemadire said the court could not convict Kadungure when the evidence did not link him to the offence.
The State had alleged that Kadungure swindled Nduna’s construction firm, Badon Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, and Gatawa of R1 581 890.
Allegations were that sometime in November 2012, Kadungure and Chivayo connived with unknown accomplices and created a fictitious company, Transco Civil Engineering, purportedly based in South Africa and opened a company account with Absa Bank.
It was alleged Kadungure referred Nduna to his bogus company, Transco Civil Engineering, in South Africa, on the pretext that it was a recommended supplier.
On December 4, 2013, Gatawa sent his brother Enock to South Africa to purchase the pumps. He was ordered to deposit R1 046 890 for the purchase of 10 flight pumps into the Absa account.
After the transfer, Enock was told by Transco Civil Engineering that they would send the pumps via DHL in three days’ time.
It was further alleged that on December 12, Gatawa went to DHL Airport branch to collect the pumps and was shocked to receive a parcel of mobile phone chargers.
That is when he realised that he had been duped, the court heard.
Ephraim Zinyandu appeared for the State.