By Mary Taruvinga
A Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) former consultant who allegedly attempted to swindle 2018 presidential elections candidate Joseph Busha out of US$65 000 was Friday temporarily granted her passport after begging the court to release it so she could visit outside the country.
Vimbai Mushongera (50), ZCTU’s consultant on social investments and developments projects, told Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba she wanted to travel for business.
Mashamba granted the request and ordered her to bring it back to the Clerk of Court before her next remand date.
Mushongera is on stringent reporting conditions and initially begged the court to be lenient with her.
“If the bail conditions can loosened a bit. I’m a single mother taking care of my children on my own,” she had said on her initial court appearance with no joy.
Her matter was remanded to December 16 pending trial.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in 2016, Mushongera was appointed trustee for JM Busha 54 Races Trust and mandated to assist the secretariat to run the affairs of the organisation.
The court further heard Mushongera was also the country representative and entitled to a US$100 sitting allowance.
It was further alleged that in March this year, Mushongera stopped being a trustee after Busha was not pleased with the manner she executed her duties.
Mushongera allegedly hatched a plan to defraud Busha and forged a letter of appointment purportedly authored by the businessman and indicating she was entitled to a salary of US$2 500.
She further doctored emails to pretend they emerged from Busha with an acknowledgement of a US$65 000 debt.
She then presented the fraudulent documents to her lawyers.
The documents, it is also alleged, were used to compile a letter of demand by Mushongera’s lawyers which was sent to Busha.
When Busha went through the documents, he discovered the offence and filed a police report that led to Mushongera’s arrest.