A Seke man reportedly registered Econet lines on the EcoCash platform in the name of Cabinet ministers before using them to dupe unsuspecting people of more than $4 000.
Blessing Musarurwa, 27, of Murisa Village under Chief Seke in Chitungwiza, yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei facing $4 867 fraud charges.
The Econet lines were allegedly registered in the names of Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF administration secretary and minister of State in the President’s Office; Energy and Power Development deputy minister Munacho Mutezo; Zanu PF legislator Daniel Shumba and Zanu PF Mbare legislator Tendai Savanhu.
It was not stated in court how Musarurwa managed to register the lines in the government officials’ names.
The State opposed bail on the basis that Musarurwa was not formally employed, survives on fraudulent deals and is likely to reoffend.
Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that between January and June this year, and in Harare, Masvingo and Rusape, Musarurwa would call various people using Econet lines registered in the name of the officials, misrepresenting that he was sent by the Zanu PF officials.
He would tell the people to deposit money into the EcoCash accounts on the pretext that he would supply them with fertiliser.
Complainants acted on the misrepresentation and deposited various amounts of money into the EcoCash accounts on different occasions. Musarurwa allegedly converted the cash to his own use.
Musarurwa would tell the complainants to collect receipts from their local council offices as proof of payment before withdrawing the money.
Musarurwa was found in possession of handsets and two Econet lines registered in Shumba and Mutasa’s names, which were allegedly used to commit the offence.
The State is also in possession of a call history which shows that Musarurwa was using the lines to defraud people.