By Mary Taruvinga
HARARE businessman and socialite Genius Kadungure, who is facing fraud charges, showed up in court Monday, two weeks after he was served with a warrant of arrest.
Kadungure is in trouble for allegedly conning Zanu PF’s Chegutu West legislator Dexter Nduna of R535,000 as well as duping another man of R1 million back in 2012.
He apologised to Harare magistrate Morgan Nemadire for missing the August 17 court session, saying he had missed his flight.
Defence lawyer Jonathan Samkange said Kadungure returned home from America last Saturday and came to court at the earliest possible opportunity to show that his absence was not wilful.
However, an unamused prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu urged the magistrate to deny Kadungure bail, saying he was taking the courts for granted.
“He knew he was wanted but he decided to go away from this court’s jurisdiction,” said Zinyandu.
“His absence frustrated the trial. Witnesses used their funds to travel all the way from Kwekwe, yet he was enjoying himself in America.
“This shows he is a man of means and can choose to go away again and not come back.
“So, the state is applying that the accused’s bail conditions be revoked, and he answers to his allegations while in custody.
The magistrate however, ruled in Kadungure’s favour saying there was no indication that the night club owner was likely to abscond.
The court remanded the case to October 9 for trial.
Kadungure is being charged together with another flamboyant businessman Wicknell Chivayo.
Prosecutors say sometime in November 2012, the two connived to create a fictitious company called Transco Civil Engineering (Transco) which was purportedly based in South Africa and opened an ABSA bank account.
They established an email account firstname.lastname@example.org purporting to be Marange Diamonds while also renting computing space at Hetzner (Pvt) Ltd in South Africa.
Court heard that the duo, acting in connivance, then contacted one Gatawa – the managing director of Even Mine and Milling Centre in Kadoma – and misrepresented that they were buyers at Marange Resources looking for mining pumps.
The suspects then gave Gatawa an order to supply 10 T-90 Transco-Flo Helical Rotor pumps and referred him to Transco, knowing that it was a fictitious company.
Gatawa then sent his younger brother, Enock, to deposit R446,900 into the ABSA account on December 4, 2012. A further R600,000 was deposited later the same day in two instalments.
After transferring the money, Gatawa contacted Transco and was told to return to Zimbabwe and wait for delivery of the pumps from DHL in three days.
According to prosecutors, Gatawa got a parcel that had mobile phone chargers and realised that he had been swindled.
Kadungure, the court heard, used R500,000 to buy wholesale gas from Reatile Gas in South Africa while another R500,000 was transferred to one Edward Teka’s bank account.
Teka, say prosecutors, stated that the money was later withdrawn and handed over to Chivayo and Kadungure.
The total prejudice to Gatawa was R1,046.890.
On the second count, the two men targeted Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna using the same modus operandi.