By Desmond Chingarande
A Harare man who was allegedly arrested for swindling a ZB bank employee of US$18 000 has appeared in court for trial.
The suspect Michael Mutsvunguma, who appeared before Magistrate Chido Garwe denied the offence saying the complainant, Colleta Mhishi did not give him the money.
Mutsvunguma told Garwe that on the day Mhishi is alleged to have given him the money, he was away facilitating the processing of a forensic post-mortem of his father-in-law accompanied by Police Homicide team that included Constable Cherai, Sergeant Musakaruka and Earnest Arufaneti.
The complainant had alleged the money was for a Mercedes Benz the accused was selling.
But the accused denied saying he had no vehicle that was on sale, adding that the complainant had some deal with her sister Victoria Dhlamini, who is said to be on the run.
Mutsvunguma said the complainant wanted to take the vehicle illegally through misrepresentation.
The matter was postponed to today for trial continuation.
Allegations against Mutsvunguma are that on May 3 the complainant was approached by Dhlamini, who informed her that she together with the accused person were selling a Mercedes Benz E250 which she thought the complainant might be interested in buying.
It is alleged Dhlamini and the complainant arranged for the car to be brought by the accused person to the complainant’s office at corner Samora Machel and Rotten Row, Harare on May 10 for assessment and testing.
Dhlamini allegedly indicated that they wanted to sell to complainant at a giveaway price of US$18 000 so that they could raise money for a business deal in Shamva where they could make a huge profit enough to cover up for the under-priced car.
It is alleged that on May 9, the complainant went on to inform her car mechanic Russel Chiweza and asked him to pass by her office to do a mechanical check on the Mercedes Benz before complainant could make a payment.
The State alleges that on May 10 at 08:30hours the accused person came to complainant’s office car park with an unregistered white Mercedes Benz E250. He parked it and invited the complainant to come and see.
It is alleged that the complainant came with Chiweza, who inspected the car and concluded that the car was in perfect condition.
She then handed over US$18 000 to the accused as payment in the presence of her mechanic.
After the transaction, the complainant allegedly asked the accused person to go and clean, polish and do interior washing of the car.
It is alleged as a familiar family person, the complainant believed that the accused would do as agreed since he knew where complainant resided and the accused was expected to deliver the vehicle as agreed.
The accused person, however, allegedly failed to deliver the vehicle as per agreement.
It is alleged late Thursday in the evening, the complainant called Dhiamini through her cell phone inquiring whether the car had been cleaned and made ready for parking and she confirmed that everything was still above board and the car would be delivered as promised.
The State alleges that on the 14th of May 2021, both accused person and Dhlamini were no longer reachable on their cell phones and were also not responding to complainant’s calls.
The complainant then made a police report.