BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) consultant appeared in court yesterday facing fraud charges after she allegedly duped 2018 elections presidential candidate Joseph Makamba Busha of US$65 000.
Vimbai Eva Mushongera appeared before magistrate Learnmore Mapiye, who remanded her to October 3 on $300 bail.
As part of her bail conditions, she was ordered to report twice a week to the police, reside at her given address and surrender her passport.
The complainant in the case is Busha’s organisation, JM Busha 54 Races Trust.
The trust is being represented by Busha in his capacity as the founder.
It is the State’s case that Mushongera was a board member in the trust and was not entitled to a salary.
The State alleges that in 2016, Mushongera got appointed as a trustee for JM Busha 54 Races Trust-Zimbabwe and like other trustees, she was tasked to assist the secretariat to run the affairs of the organisation as well as be its country representative.
It is alleged she was only entitled to a sitting allowance of US$100, and not a salary.
However, Mushongera allegedly crafted a letter of appointment purporting it had been prepared by Busha.
She allegedly highlighted the nature of her duties in the letter and awarded herself a US$2 500 monthly salary.
Mushongera also allegedly crafted emails, purporting they were sent by Busha to her, acknowledging that he owed her US$65 000.
It is alleged that unaware that the documents were fake, her lawyers then prepared a letter of demand which they submitted to Busha, claiming US$65 000 on behalf of their client.
Busha then scrutinised the documents and discovered the misrepresentation before he reported the matter to the police, leading to her arrest.
On her first appearance in court, Mushongera pleaded with the magistrate to reduce her bail quantum and reporting conditions, saying she was a single mother and was unemployed.
But her request was turned down.
At ZCTU, Mushongera served as investment and development consultant.