MUTARE-BASED sungura musician, Brian ‘Samaita’ Runganga allegedly lost US$95 000 to a lawyer who fraudulently sold him a property in Morningside, Mutare.
Mutare magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe, last week adjourned the matter to May 23 for trial.
The Harare-based lawyer, Shepherd Makonyere and his accomplice Secline Nyamudeza are being charged with contravening Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 (fraud).
Mr Brian Goto prosecuted.
Runganga, who is popularly known as Samaita in the music industry, realised that he had been duped when he saw an advert in the local Press, stating that the house he had purchased had been attached and was now being sold by the Deputy Sheriff.
He reported the matter to the police and a fraud case was opened at Mutare Central Police Station.
In his statement to the police, Runganga said he got to know about the house, Number 7061 Wentwood Drive, Morningside, through an estate agent – one Wellington Musevenzi of Menger Properties.
“Sometime in 2017, I wanted to buy a residential property and I talked to Mr Musevenzi. He told me that there was a divorced couple in Morningside selling their house. He further told me that I was supposed to communicate with Shepherd Makonyere, a lawyer based in Harare, who was handling the divorce proceedings between the owners of the house,” he said.
“I drove to Harare in the company of Mr Musevezi to meet Makonyere at his offices. Upon our arrival in Harare, we met the accused person at his office and we entered into an agreement of sale with him.
“He told us that he had the power of attorney over the property. We negotiated for a review of the initial selling price and settled for US$90 000. We then agreed on a payment plan in which I was supposed to pay US$60 000 upon signing of the agreement of sale document.”
Runganga said he then paid the US$30 000 balance on November 20, 2018.
“I then demanded the title deeds of the house since I had finished paying, but I was told by the accused that the title deeds were being withheld by Zesa as the owners of the house owed the power utility US$30 0000.”
“He further told me that he would pay off the Zesa debt to ensure the title deeds were released. However, l kept getting excuses until I saw an advert in The Sunday Mail, the advert was saying the house – which I had fully purchased – was being sold by the Deputy Sheriff.
“I then proceeded to Zesa to inquire about it and I was informed that the house belonged to one Alfred Zivanai Mukarakate, and that all the people I was dealing with were not the owners of the house. Apparently, Mukarakate owed Zesa some money and that is why the house was being sold,” said Samaita.
Makonyere is being represented by Mr Chris Ndlovu of Gonese and Ndlovu Legal Practitioners, while Nyamudeza is being represented by Mr Cosmas Chibaya of Chibaya and Associates.
— Manica Post