Controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo yesterday breathed a sigh of relief after he was acquitted of fraud while his co-accused has a case to answer.
Chivayo was acquitted by Harare magistrate Morgan Nemadire who ruled that there is no evidence whatsoever directly linking him to the offence.
However, socialite and businessman Genius Kadungure will have to face the music after Nemadire ruled that he has a case to answer as there was a link between him and the offence.
Chivayo and Kadungure were jointly charged with two counts of fraud. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges and had filed for discharge at the close of the State’s case.
Nemadire ruled that Kadungure was linked to the offence as money was deposited into his business account in South Africa and he spoke to one of the complainants, Evon Gatawa.
Nemadire also noted that Kadungure also paid back some of the money to one of the complainants.
He said Ginimbi, as he is affectionately known in some social circles, has prima facie to meet before remanding him to November 15 where the case will proceed to defence.
The State is alleging that sometime in November 2012, Kadungure connived with Chivayo to create a fictitious company named Transco Civil Engineering, purportedly based in neighbouring South Africa.
It is being alleged that they proceeded to open an ABSA bank account. The State claims they also opened an email account firstname.lastname@example.org purporting to be doing business for Marange Diamonds, which is one of the companies that used to operate in Chiadzwa, in Marange.
It is said they rented space at Hetzner (Private) Limited in South Africa.
Chivayo and Kadungure then contacted Gatawa pretending to be the chief buyers at Marange Resources, looking for mining pumps.
They reportedly gave the complainant an order to supply 10 T-90 Transco-Flo Helical Rotor pumps and referred him to Transco knowing that it was a fictitious company.
The complainant then sent his brother, Enock Gatawa and ZAR446 900 was deposited into Transco’s ABSA account and a further ZAR300 000 later that day.
After transferring the money, Gatawa contacted Transco and was told to go back to Zimbabwe and wait for delivery of the pumps from DHL in three days.
To his surprise, Gatawa got a parcel that had cell phone chargers and realised they had been swindled.
Kadungure used ZAR500 000 to buy gas and another ZAR500 000 was transferred into the account of Edward Teka.
Chivayo and Kadungure converted ZAR1 046 890 to their own use.
Using the same modus operandi, the two allegedly approached Dexter Nduna, the Member of Parliament for Chegutu West constituency claiming they were looking for mining pumps.
Nduna was given an order for 20 T-90 Transco-Flo Helical Rotor pumps before being referred to Always on Pumps, which was purported to be a reputable supplier.
He lost ZAR535 000 in the deal as Chivayo and Kadungure became evasive.