Bulawayo woman in court for “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” fraud

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By Leopold Munhende

A Bulawayo woman was Tuesday taken to court by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), on allegations of fleecing a new company of US$700 000 after misrepresenting she could facilitate offshore payments for it.

Delny Davies, who was in 2017 dragged before the courts for externalising some US$7 million, appeared before Bulawayo Magistrate Tinashe Tashaya who granted her $5 000 bail and ordered her not to interfere with witnesses.

She was also ordered to report at Bulawayo Central police station twice a week until the case is heard on 11 December.

According to ZACC spokesperson, John Makamure, Davies misrepresented to Prince Abraham of South African company, Nedlac and used his funds to pay off a debt she owed to Zakanya Patel, a manager at Toppers in Bulawayo.

“She prejudiced a company that set up base in Bulawayo in response to the ‘Zimbabwe is Open for business’ mantra of US$700 000 after claiming that she could facilitate offshore payments through FMC Finance.

“Sometime in November 2018, the accused person hatched a plan to defraud the complainant of his US$700 000 so as to settle her loan with Zakanya Patel.

“Pursuant to her plan, the accused person approached the complainant and misrepresented facts to him that she had some free funds in South Africa. She claimed that if the complainant had any payments to settle in South Africa, she had the capacity to settle them. In return, the complainant would then transfer US$700 000 to the accused person,” reads the charge sheet.

“The complainant told the accused that his company had two major invoices which had to be settled to Nedlac Automation South Africa totalling R3 500 000.

“The invoices were to be settled as follows; R3 070 000 to Maggotteax South Africa for goods bought and delivered to PPC Bulawayo, R430 000 to Toyota Nelspruit for Nedlac Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd company vehicle.”

Davies is alleged to have instructed the complainant to deposit US$700 000 into FMC Finance Company Ecobank account number 00147600849601.

Acting on the misrepresenting, it is further alleged, on 26 November 2018, the complainant made two internal transfers of US$200 000 and US$500 000 into FMC Financial Services Company Ecobank account 00147600849601 through Interbank banking using his Ecobank account number 005103760992101.

Adds the sheet: “When all this was happening, the accused person knew very well that she had no free funds in South Africa but she had a pre-conceived plan to swindle the complainant of his money so that she uses the money to settle her loan with Zakanya Patel.

“Investigations established that when the money was transferred into FMC Financial Services Ecobank Account, US$72 000 financed an overdraft for FMC Financial Services and US$628 000 was transferred to a Steward Bank account, on instructions from Zakanya Patel.”

Investigations also established that on 29 November 2018, a total of R450 000 was paid to Nedlac Automation South Africa FNB account number 62716180807 by the accused person and she converted a balance of R3 050 000 to her own use.

ZACC noted the accused made another deposit of R110 000 into Nedlac Automation FNB account.

Davies is accused of having claimed she also had capacity to facilitate the repatriation of profits from Zimbabwe to South Africa under the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” policy enunciated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.