Busha drags ZCTU consultant to court over US$65 000 fraud

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By Mary Taruvinga

PRESIDENTIAL candidate and philanthropist, Joseph Makamba Busha has dragged a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) consultant Vimbai Mushongera, to court over allegations of attempting to swindle him of US$65 000.

Mushongera, 50, appeared before Harare Magistrate, Learnmore Mapiye facing fraud charges.

She was freed on $300 bail coupled with stringent reporting conditions that will see her presenting herself to police twice a week.

The complainant in the case is Busha’s organisation named JM Busha 54 Races Trust.

Busha is representing the trust in his capacity as the founder.

According to court papers, Mushongera was a board member in the trust and was not entitled to a salary but an allowance of US$100 per sitting.

“Sometime in or around the year 2016, accused got appointed as a trustee for JM Busha 54 Trust-Zimbabwe. The accused like other trustees was tasked to assist the secretariat to run the affairs of organisation and also be the country representative. As remuneration she was not entitled to a salary but a sitting allowance of US$100 per sitting,” said prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa..

It is alleged that Mushongera then hatched a plan to defraud the businessman.

Pursuant to the plan, she crafted a letter of appointment purporting it was prepared by Busha.

The court heard Mushongera went on to highlight the nature of her duties in the letter and also wrote she was entitled to a salary of US$2 500 per month.

It is alleged that Mushongera also crafted emails, purporting they were sent by Busha to her acknowledging that he owed her US$65 000.

The court heard that unaware that the documents were fake, her lawyers then prepared a letter of demand which they submitted to Busha claiming US$65 000 on behalf of their client.

Busha then scrutinised the documents and unearthed the misrepresentation before he reported the case to the police.

Mushongera was subsequently arrested.

When she appeared in court, Mushongera begged the Magistrate to reduce her bail quantum and reporting conditions.

However, her request hit a brick wall after the Magistrate Mapiye said the weight of allegations against her required stringent bail conditions.

“The accused would have lost US$65 000. its a lot of money,” said Magistrate Mapiye.

Mushongera will be back in court on October 3, for routine remand.