BY RICHARD MUPONDE
A MAN masquerading as a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officer allegedly duped two Chipinge women of $740 under the pretext that he would buy them goods on auction at Mt Selinda Border Post.
This came to light at the trial of Jealous Sithole (32), of 350 CRC, before Chipinge magistrate Joshua Nembaware.
Sithole pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and was granted $100 bail and remanded to March 11 for continuation of trial.
In his defence, Sithole denied ever telling the complainants that he was a Zimra official.
“I told them that I was going to smuggle the goods from Mozambique and they agreed to it,” he said.
Prosecutor Shamiso Ncube told the court that last month, Sithole approached Fortune Mapfumo at her house in Gaza high-density suburb and identified himself as a Zimra official stationed at Mt Selinda Border Post.
He allegedly advised her to give him $370 so that he would buy her auctioned groceries at the border post.
An unsuspecting Mapfumo advised him that she was going to look for the money.
Two days later, she phoned Sithole and the allegedly met at Gabaza Bottle Store in the town and Mapfumo handed over the money.
Sithole allegedly promised to bring the groceries the same day.
However, after receiving the money, he allegedly disappeared and switched off his phone.
Mapfumo tried to locate him, but to no avail.
During the same time that he reportedly duped Mapfumo, Sithole used the same method to swindle Netsai Chitsiku of another $370.
He, however, did not bring the groceries.
His luck then ran out on February 28 when Mapfumo was tipped off that Sithole was at Gabaza Bottle Store.
She alerted detectives who arrested him. Nothing was recovered in both counts.