7 February 2019
Four men appeared in court over a million-dollar fraud.
Taurai Madziwanzira, Silas Munyoro, Tafara Matanga and Talkmore Mutsago were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa where they were denied bail.
The court will hear their bail ruling today.
Allegations are last year the accused hatched a plan to defraud TM Supermarkets and in pursuit of their plan, they connived with the supermarket’s accounting bookkeeper based at the head office (Daison Mudakari), branch administrator for TM Chinhoyi South (Eria Mukono), branch administrator for TM Kariba (Steven Muzambi) and Tavapo Nyangwaira who are still at large and registered an EcoCash merchant line in the name of accused Tavapo Nyangwaira.
After the registration from January 2018 to January 31, 2019, Madziwanzira, Munyoro, Mukono and Muzambi transferred some of the funds to their fraudulently registered merchant line.
The State heard that after the fraudulent transfers, the four of them would send EcoCash sales amounts less the amounts stolen to Matanga, Mutsago and Mudakari.
Matanga, Mutsago and Mudakari would then receive EcoCash transaction reports from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe showing the actual sales figures made by respective branches and to cover up their offence, these three would manipulate the reports to tally with the figures sent to them by Madziwanzira, Munyoro, Mukono and Muzambi.
It is alleged that they would then send the manipulated funds to the finance manager for banking.
It is the State case that the accused would share the proceeds amongst themselves by transferring the money to their respective EcoCash lines.
The total money defrauded is $1 107 050 and nothing has been recovered.
The State led by Shepherd Makonde denied the accused persons bail and the investigating officer who is the witness in this matter highlighted the basis for bail denial.
The investigating officer argued that the accused could not be granted bail on because the police have not yet arrested their accomplices.
He said there were chances that the accused could hide assets which have not yet been recovered.
The IO said one of the accused Matanga also contacted one of their co-accused who is still at large and told him that they had been apprehended which led to the disappearance of that other accused person.
He also said the police has not yet finished recording statements from witnesses and that the accused could interfere with the witnesses since they work together.
The accused persons were represented by three lawyers, and the defence counsels said there was no basis for denying the accused persons bail arguing that the court gives them stringent bail conditions since these are still allegations.