A Bulawayo businessman allegedly took $7 million erroneously deposited into his account by AutoWorld Bulawayo and allegedly spent it on his and his wife’s upmarket lifestyle and building their dream home, a court has heard. Accused number one in this case is a company called Galdras Investments trading as Clear Waters Auto which is located at Number 124A along Jason Moyo Street between 12th and 13th Avenue in Bulawayo while accused number two is Zororo Mhondiwa (40) who resides at number 654 Emakhandeni in Bulawayo and is the company’s director.
Appearing before regional magistrate Mr Mark Dzira, Mhondiwa and his company were charged with theft.
According to the State, represented by Acumen Khuphe, on 6 April, AutoWorld’s accounts clerk, Ms Tsitsi Diana Samuriwo received requisitions from the company’s departments with invoices attached. Among the invoices was Clear Waters Auto’s invoice which had an amount of ZWL$33 250 worth of car parts to be paid.
Ms Samuriwo then initiated an online transfer of $33 250 which was to be paid from AutoWorld’s Cabs bank account into Clear Waters Auto’s Agribank account number. She was also supposed to transfer a total of $7 million into her company Head Office’s Cabs Bank account, but instead, erroneously captured Clear Waters Auto’s Agribank account as the account to be credited.
After having initiated the above stated online transfers, Ms Samuriwo sought authority from the complainant’s finance manager, Carmen Green who granted and made the payments into the two accounts. Clear Waters Auto’s Agribank bank account was credited with both $33 250 which was due to the company and $7 million which was not due to them.
Proof of payment, both complainant and accused’s bank statement indicating the amount transferred and received into accused’s account “maybe produced before the court as evidence.”
On the same date, Mhondiwa being a signatory of Clear Waters Auto’s account started withdrawing and using the $7 million despite knowing that the money was not due to his company. Clear Waters Auto’s bank statement indicates that the $7 million was received into the account and how it was used.
The error came to light on 20 May, when Ms Samuriwo was conducting parts reconciliation with the AutoWorld Head Office in Harare, she discovered that there was no payment of $7 million made to the head office. After careful inspection of the proof of payments made, she discovered that the money had been transferred into Clear Waters Auto’s account. She then informed AutoWorld’s representative who contacted Mhondiwa requesting him to return the money.
On 23 May, Mhondiwa allegedly returned back to AutoWorld’s account a total of $1 million instead of the $7 million he had erroneously received. There is proof of payment of the $1 million transferred by the accused into AutoWorld. As a result of the accused’s actions, the complainant has suffered an actual prejudice of $6 million as only $1 million out of $7 million was recovered.
The matter was reported to Criminal Investigation’s Department (CID) Cyber Crime Division who quickly made the arrest after their investigations into the matter. Meanwhile, the accused will appear in court again on 7 September when Mr Dzira is expected to issue his judgement on Mhondiwa’s application for discharge. -Chronicle