Cheeky Thugs Sold Out By Selfie Picture They Took With Victim They Swindled Of US$32k Cash
25 September 2020
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State Media

Two Chitungwiza men who allegedly defrauded an unsuspecting home-seeker of US$32 000 after selling him a Mandara stand they do not own while using fake identity cards, had their matter deferred to October 6.

Emmerson Chigonyati (46) and Enoss Gwangwadza (23), who are facing fraud charges, appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga for routine remand.

Chigonyati was recently denied bail while Gwangwadza is out on $5 000 bail.

It is alleged that sometime in June this year, the two and their two accomplices, hatched a plan to defraud home-seekers and flighted an advert in The Herald offering the Mandara stand for sale.

The court heard that the complainant’s wife phoned and spoke to someone who pretended to be Jupiter Charles Punungwe and gave her directions to the stand and she viewed it and developed an interest.

It is the State’s case that the two parties agreed on a purchase price of US$35 000.

The woman’s husband sold his property in Chitungwiza and advised the suspects that he was ready to buy the stand.

The accused allegedly misrepresented that they lived in Chivhu and on August 8, they invited the complainant and his wife there to make the payments.

The court heard that Chigonyati misrepresented to the complainant that he was Punungwe, the owner of the stand, and produced a metal identification card bearing that name. It is alleged that Gwangwadza identified himself as Sam Mugari, nephew to Chigonyati, and produced a plastic identity card bearing that name.

The accused persons allegedly produced a fraudulent deed of transfer number 0008695/2001 in the name of Punungwe and convinced the complainant that he was buying a real stand.

The court heard that the complainant paid US$32 000 to Chigonyati, resulting in the signing of the memorandum of agreement of sale.

After the payment, the complainant requested for a group photo with the accused persons and he took one using his cellphone.

The court heard that on August 10 and 11, the complainant made deliveries of building materials to the stand and invited a surveyor to find a site to drill a borehole.

At that juncture, the complainant was approached by a neighbour who informed him that the owner of the stand resided in South Africa and the stand was not for sale.

It is alleged that the complainant tried to call the accused persons to no avail, prompting him to report the matter to the police.

Police were able to track down the accused using the group photo.

The court heard that Chigonyati was arrested at Chikwanha in Chitungwiza while driving an unregistered Toyota Corolla which is suspected to have been bought with the proceeds of the crime.

The vehicle was searched and some identity cards belonging to different people and several sim cards were recovered.

Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa prosecuted.