Monday, 28 August 2017

MAN LOSES $39K IN MAIZE DEAL

A MAN from Bulawayo has been arraigned for allegedly defrauding his business partner of $39 810.

Takunda Michael Mahati (29) of Paddonhurst allegedly bought a VW golf vehicle from South Africa with part of the money.

A court heard that Mahati is suspected to have connived with Anthony Moses Banda in swindling Mr Makomborero Chikomo.

The pair allegedly lured him into agreeing to a business deal of buying maize in bulk from South-Africa and reselling it in Zimbabwe. Mahati appeared on Friday before magistrate Ms Sthembiso Ncube and pleaded not guilty to fraud.

Banda’s whereabouts remain unknown. Ms Ncube remanded him out of custody to September 8.
Prosecuting, Ms Tafadzwa Mutsambiwa said Mr Chikomo gave Mahati the money meant for purchasing the maize on March 28 this year.

“He visited Mr Chikomo’s work place at around 10:30AM where he took $21 410 after Banda sent a purported proof of payment to Mr Chikomo who agreed to clear the remaining balance within a week,” she said.

“At around 7PM the same day, Mr Chikomo made a follow up on the proof of payment and discovered there was an anomaly with the name of the recipient,” Ms Mutsambiwa said.

“He inquired from Banda and was advised that the matter would be rectified. On the following day at around 9PM Mahati collected the remaining balance of $12 400.”

The court heard that 15 minutes later Banda called and informed Mr Chikomo that he did not trust Mahati as he was no longer answering his phone.

Ms Mutsambiwa said Mahati did not deliver the maize as promised and was arrested on June 1 in Harare. It was discovered that he had bought a motor vehicle in April soon after disappearing with Mr Chikomo’s money.

Mahati through his lawyer Mr Lucky Mauwa of Mauwa and Associates dismissed the charges laid against him saying there was no valid evidence to prove his guilt.
“The investigating officer bungled the case without evidence and gave half-baked information,” he said.

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