Duped USD90,000
7 April 2024
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A couple has been charged with defrauding Sunday Chifamba, the proprietor of Pandhari Hotel, amounting to a significant loss of US$90,000. The accused, Usedia Zhuwaneti and Edzayi Arufaneti, were presented before the Harare magistrate Ethel Chichera, with Shepard Makonde representing them.

## Circumstances of the Fraud

The prosecution, led by State prosecutor Zebediah Bofu, outlined a premeditated scheme initiated in 2014 by the accused couple. Posing as shareholders of Anglovaal Investments Private Limited, they purportedly owned stand number 761 Glen Lorne Township of 41 of Glen Lorne, with rights allegedly secured under Deed of Transfer 9391/98 via the company. This claim set the stage for their fraudulent dealings with Mr. Chifamba.

In March 2014, swayed by the Zhuwanetis’ misrepresentations, Chifamba entered into a transaction to purchase stand number 761 Glen Lorne for US$90,000. The value of this property was misrepresented as equivalent to 200 shares in Anglovaal Investments (Pvt) Ltd, a claim that significantly influenced Chifamba’s decision to proceed with the purchase.

## Unraveling of the Scheme

The fraudulent nature of the transaction came to light in 2016 when Eelco Alexis Walraven, the actual owner of the property, surfaced. Walraven, who had initially sold the property to Anglovaal Investments in 2011 and reclaimed it due to non-fulfillment of payment terms by Anglovaal Investments (Pvt) Ltd, contested Chifamba’s ownership. The conflict culminated in June 2019 when Walraven secured a High Court order for Chifamba’s eviction from the property, thereby exposing the fraudulent transaction orchestrated by the Zhuwanetis.

## Consequences and Legal Proceedings

The aftermath of the Zhuwanetis’ fraudulent activities has left Mr. Chifamba with a substantial financial loss of US$90,000, with no recoveries reported. The case against Usedia Zhuwaneti and Edzayi Arufaneti highlights the intricate challenges faced in property transactions and the devastating impact of fraudulent schemes on innocent parties.

As the legal proceedings continue, the case serves as a stark reminder of the vigilance required in financial and property dealings, underscoring the importance of thorough due diligence to avoid falling victim to fraud. The legal outcome will be keenly observed for its implications on property law enforcement and fraud prevention measures in Zimbabwe.