‘Conman’ dares minister

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A SERIAL Harare conman, who allegedly masqueraded as former Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Mafios Cheda to dupe several prominent people, yesterday left the court in stitches when he told Defence deputy minister Victor Matemadanda that the only service he had received from him was being his minister.

The unrepresented Tinashe Munhuweyi, who is still in custody after his arrest in February, is also accused of duping Zanu PF Bubi legislator Richard Moyo, former High Court judge Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe’s son, Naboth and Great Zimbabwe lecturer Ben Siyakwazi of various amounts of money.

Appearing before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, Munhuweyi asked Matemadanda why he had figured him as the actual person who duped him when he did not have any evidence in the form of phone numbers registered in his name or receiving any calls from him.

“I did not receive money from you or demand it from you except for the service you are rendering to me as a government minister. Why do you have such conviction which you earlier told the court that it is me who duped you?” Munhuweyi asked.

Matemadanda told the court that he did not know Munhuweyi personally, but believes the police arrested the right person. Matemadanda also told the court that it is worrying that the offence was committed by a youth against the elderly people.

“It is worrying that the youth are taking advantage of us old people. They know that we old people trust each other, hence he used the name of Justice Cheda fully knowing that I would help my fellow elder,” Matemadanda said.

Allegations are that on September 17 last year, Munhuweyi contacted Matemadanda, purporting to be Justice Cheda and misrepresented that he had two trucks which had run out of fuel at Chirundu Border Post.

He allegedly requested for $600 to refuel the trucks and for other expenses. Munhuweyi allegedly asked Matemadanda to transfer the money into a supplied EcoCash account and promised to repay the debt.

After the transaction, Munhuweyi allegedly became evasive. Matemadanda later conducted his own investigations and discovered that he had been conned. He reported the matter at Harare Central Police Station.

Using the same modus operandi, Munhuweyi duped Siyakwazi of $7 263, Naboth ($2 300), Moyo ($1 500) and Rudo Kariramombe ($1 088). Nothing was recovered.

Patience Chimusaru appeared for the State.

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