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Blind Businessman Swindled US$1 000 By Borehole Driller

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


A VISUALLY impaired Bulawayo businessman, Alexander Saurombe was recently swindled US$1 000 by a Harare-based man in a borehole drilling deal which went sour.

The borehole driller, Kudakwashe Nhopi Mhene allegedly defrauded Saurombe last June.

This was after the businessman was referred to Mhene and wanted a borehole to be sunk at his Burnside house.

“Francis Nyadundu told me Mhene was in a position to drill a borehole for me on credit terms. When I contacted Mhene, he asked me what deposit I could raise and I told him US$1000,” Saurombe told NewZimbabwe.com.

“He then asked me how I would pay off the balance and I told him that I would pay US$400 per month.”

The businessman said Mhene agreed to drill the borehole on condition the US$1 000 was deposited into his bank account.

“He agreed to come and drill the borehole if I deposited US$1000 into his bank account and he sent me his bank account details on WhatsApp. I then deposited that amount on 23 June 2021.”

However, as soon as he deposited the amount Mhene started playing “cat and mouse” games.

Saurombe said the last time he was in touch with Mhene was on 2 July last month when he told the businessman he would only drill the borehole on full payment.

“I then told him I could not afford to do so and asked him to refund me. He asked for a bank account to deposit the refund and I supplied him. However, I have not heard anything from him concerning the refund. “Since then, I have been sending him WhatsApp messages asking about the refunding, but he is no longer responding.”

Saurombe said he was convinced Mhene had no intention of drilling the borehole but was out to con him.

He has since reported the case at Hillside Police Station under RRB 4724596.

“I reported this case at Hillside police station and Assistant Inspector Ndanga was initially the investigating officer. I hear now one Inspector Nyamakopa is now handling the issue but none of the two police officers have been in touch with me. I am now becoming suspicious that this Mhene is being protected,” he said.

When reached for comment on his mobile number, Mhene first demanded personal details of the NewZimbabwe.com journalist, but later turned around and said it was a “wrong number”.

However, a search on the EcoCash platform indicated that the phone number belonged to Mhene.

Bulawayo police provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed that police were investigating the fraud case.

“Yes, we are investigating a case of fraud where the complainant posted on WhatsApp that he was looking for someone to assist him drilling in a borehole. He was then given a number of one Kudakwashe Mhene, with no other particulars,  to contact them. This Kudakwashe is not known and is suspected to be from Harare,” he said.

“This is a scam. We urge members of the public to be alert and go to the office of people who say they have drilling companies. They must engage them directly and there are lots of drilling companies in Bulawayo. Since this is a scam, it’s not easy to get to this fraudster and as the police, we cannot reveal our strategies of what we are doing to arrest, otherwise, we are still investigating,” said Ncube.