Mutodi freed on bail

HARARE - Energy Mutodi, a businessman-cum-musician, was yesterday freed on $500 bail after appearing in court on charges of fraud involving over $6 million.

Mutodi, 34, is alleged to have fleeced 16 000 civil servants under the guise that his housing scheme would benefit them.

The court heard that sometime in 2006, Mutodi and others formed National Housing Delivery Trust and it was agreed that it would appoint trustees that would constitute a Board with Mutodi as chairman.

They registered a Notarial Deed of trust.

The purported objective of the trust was to acquire land in urban areas and towns, service them for residential purposes for its clients or members.

However, it is alleged that Mutodi knew that the trust was created as a vehicle to fleece money from home seekers.

Allegations are that a Kingdom Bank Trust account was opened and Mutodi was a signatory.

Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira said that the trust account was meant to secure all contributions from members in the trust and the funds would be used to procure land, service and build houses for clients under different schemes.

Mutodi is alleged to have invited membership from civil servants, allegedly misrepresenting to them that he will procure, service and build houses for them once they joined and contributed money.

He lured 16 000 civil servants to join and contribute through his deduction code number at Salary Services Bureau (SSB).

Deduction orders were given to SSB to deduct funds from civil servants who had joined the trust.

It is alleged that Mutodi went on to change the account signing arrangement, made himself sole signatory and signed for all the transactions.

A total of $6 031 011 was deducted through SSB and channelled to a Kingdom Bank account.

Mutodi, contrary to his promises, allegedly withdrew all the money and used it for other purposes. - Helen Kadirire

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