Fidelity Printers and Refiners chief operating and finance director Godknows Hofisi and accountant, company secretary Terence Machawira were yesterday acquitted of defrauding the country’s sole gold buyer of $800 000.
Hofisi and Machawira were jointly charged with senior finance manager Tinashe Mumbengegwi (35), Ronald Madhara (47), Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and its owner James Munemo (34).
However, Mumbengegwi, Madhara, Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and its owner James Munemo (34) will proceed to the defence case.
Magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa ruled that there was no prima facie evidence to prove that Hofisi and Machawira knew that the gold was delivered.
“The essential element of the offence of fraud has not been proved for the pair and they ought to be discharged at this stage,” ruled Mr Mupeiwa.
“As for Mumbengegwi and Madhara, there are points which suggest prima facie basis that they had knowledge of the transaction not being genuine.
“They need to explain themselves and they can only do that in their defence. The fact that Madhara requested for an audit is not exonerating him at this moment. Because, there are many reasons why he called for a full scale forensic audit. One of the reasons is that, one might feel that he or she cannot go down alone and wants to expose others.”
“Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and its owner James Munemo will need to explain the basis on which they received the mentioned amounts and also tell the court the person or company which nominated them as payees and if possible bring proof that they handed over the money to that other person or company,” he said.
The matter was adjourned to May 16.
It is alleged that Mumbengegwi and Madhara transferred $780 565 from their employer’s bank account to Munemo’s account.
The pair allegedly lied that Munemo had supplied gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
It is alleged that Munemo would withdraw the money and share it with the quartet.
The quartet pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of fraud, and 11 counts of money laundering charges.
Prosecuting, Mr Michael Reza alleged that some time in 2008, Munemo opened a shelf company that was in the business of selling and fitting electrical gadgets.
During the period extending from October 2013 to September last year, Mumbengegwi and Madhara, who are the signatories to Fidelity Printers and Refiners bank account held at Stanbic, allegedly transferred $579 042 from their employer’s account into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd bank account also held at Stanbic.
It is further alleged that between December last year and April this year, a further $201 518 was again transferred into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd. herald