An estate agent has appeared in court for swindling a mental patient of $40 000 after selling her house. Tongorima Mubaiwa (42) sold the house to Howard Choga, a senior Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) official. Mubaiwa appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Bianca Makwande last week. He is facing theft of trust propertycharges and was remand to November 14 for his trial.
He is on $200 bail. The complainant is Chimuriwo, a partner at Lawman Chimuriwo Attorneys. His duties included managing trustees and estates as directed by the Master of High Court.
Mubaiwa is employed by Heaven on Earth Real Estate and is a registered estate agent. The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in July 2014, Mubaiwa was appointed by the Master of High Court as the curator for Charmine Takavarasha nee Matombo.
The court heard that Takavarasha is a mental patient with a condition called bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
The lawyer wanted to settle Takavarasha’s debts to various institutions amounting to $15 000. Proceeds from the sale of the house were also to cater for Takavarasha’s daily expenses and to pay school fees for her two children.
Chimuriwo engaged Mubaiwa to look for buyers for the stand. It is alleged that Mubaiwa advised Chimuriwo that he found a prospective buyer who was offering $46 000. The court heard that on November 16 last year, an agreement of sale was entered between Chimuriwo, Mubaiwa and Choga.
Parties agreed that Choga was to deposit the money into Heaven on Earth Real Estate bank account. The court heard that the money was to be released to Takavarasha upon transfer of the property.
Choga transferred the money on November 19. It is alleged Mubaiwa transferred $6 231 to Takavarasha’s Metropolitan Bank for the release of her title deeds. The court heard that Mubaiwa failed to release the balance, leading to his arrest. Chimuriwo lost $39 769 and nothing was recovered. herald