By Mary Taruvinga
CONTROVERSIAL businessman Genius Kadungure must stand trial alone after a Harare court freed his co-accused in a fraud case where a Zanu PF legislator and some Kadoma siblings were defrauded of over $1 million.
Harare magistrate Morgan Nemadire freed Wicknell Chivayo who was jointly charged with Kadungure, saying there was no evidence linking the former to the alleged offence.
Kadungure, better known as Ginimbi, will now take to the witness stand alone to defend himself next month.
Despite efforts by his ex-wife Zodwa Mkandla, relatives and friends to nail Chivayo, the court ruled Friday that circumstances of the case only point to Ginimbi as the possible culprit.
“There is no nexus connecting Chivayo to the charges of fraud,” ruled magistrate Nemadire. “As much as the matter is a vexing one as it’s a cyber-crime, what’s perplexing is why Kadungure paid money to the Gatawas when he claims he did not steal from them.
“The court has concluded that he has some explaining outstanding. He has a case to answer and should therefore (be put to his defence).”
Kadungure had told court that he paid some money to the Gatawa brothers to avoid being dragged to court.
He however, blamed Chivayo saying he is the one who gave him stolen money to purchase gas from South Africa.
The two socialites were jointly charged with two counts of fraud.
They denied the allegations counter-blaming each other and applied for discharge at the close of the state case.
But court findings were that Kadungure was linked to the offence as money was deposited into his business account in South Africa and that he spoke to one of the complainants, Evon Gatawa.
Prosecuting, Ephraim Zinyandu alleges that in November 2012, Kadungure connived with Chivayo to create a fictitious company called Transco Civil Engineering, purportedly based in South Africa.
The State alleged that the two proceeded to open an ABSA bank account and an email account purporting to be agents for Marange Diamonds, one of the companies that used to operate in Chiadzwa, in Manicaland province.
Court heard the two went on to rent office space at Hetzner (Private) Limited in South Africa as part of the criminal plot.
It is alleged they contacted the Gatawa brothers looking for mining pumps while pretending to be chief buyers at Marange Resources.
Prosecutors say the duo gave the complainants an order to supply 10 pumps and referred him to Transco knowing that it was a fictitious company.
Enock Gatawa then deposited ZAR446 900 into Transco’s ABSA account and a further ZAR300 000 later that day.
Court heard that after transferring the money, Gatawa contacted Transco and was told to go back to Zimbabwe and wait for delivery of the pumps through DHL in three days.
To his surprise, Gatawa got a parcel that had cell phone chargers and realised they had been swindled.
Kadungure reportedly used ZAR500,000 to buy gas while a further ZAR500,000 was transferred into the account of Edward Teka.
The duo allegedly converted ZAR1 046 890 to their own use.
Chivayo and Kadungure allegedly approached Dexter Nduna, the Member of Parliament for Chegutu West constituency, claiming they were looking for mining pumps.
It is state’s case that Nduna was given an order for 20 pumps before being referred to Always on Pumps, which was purported to be a reputable supplier.
The legislator lost ZAR535,000 in the deal as Chivayo and Kadungure became evasive.