A BULAWAYO businessman appeared in court yesterday for allegedly defrauding his partner of $21 500 in a botched fuel deal.
BY SILAS NKALA
Simukai Chihanga was not asked to plead to the fraud charge and was granted free bail and remanded to June 8 when he appeared before magistrate Gladmore Mushove.
The court heard that sometime in January 2013, Chihanga was leasing a service station called Bypass Service Station from Engen Oil Zimbabwe, as the sole shareholder of the company.
On January 15 2013, he allegedly met Newton Makawa of Grange, Harare, who is employed as an advisor by a local financial institution.
He informed him that he was looking for a business partner to run Bypass Service Station in Hwange.
Chihanga allegedly misrepresented to Makawa that the company was debt-free and business was running smoothly.
As a result, Makawa allegedly fell for the trap and agreed to partner Chihanga.
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During the same month, Makawa deposited $13 000 into Engen Oil Zimbabwe’s account for procurement of fuel and $8 500 into Chihanga’s company account for purchase of fuel.
In February 2013, Makawa visited Bypass Service Station only to discover that there was no fuel.
He discovered that the money, which he had deposited into Engen Oil Zimbabwe for procurement of fuel, was used by the company to settle a debt Chihanga owed for fuel he had been previously supplied with.
Makawa discovered that Chihanga had converted the $8 500 deposited into his account to his own use.
Makawa was prejudiced of $21 500 and only $1 000 was recovered.