Bogus lawyer indicted for $7 000 theft

HARARE - A 50-year-old Kuwadzana man was yesterday hauled before the courts for masquerading as a legal practitioner.

Refiloe Chanaka, who is a clerk at Machaya and Associates Legal Practitioners, appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei facing theft of trust property charges.

He was remanded to January 7 on $100 bail.

He is charged with defrauding his “client” of $7 000 meant for loan payments.

As part of his bail conditions, Chanaka, who does not have a passport, was ordered not to acquire travel documents, not to visit the law firm’s Electra House business premises, and report once every Friday at police’s CID Serious Fraud Squad.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that on March 14 this year, Chanaka pretended to be a legal practitioner to Prodilink Investments, which was represented by its operations manager Kenneth Machisa.

Chanaka allegedly told Machisa that he was able to legally represent him in negotiating loan repayment terms with his creditor, Cassius Gambinga whom he owed $10 000.

It is the state’s case that Chanaka’s lies made Machisa believe that he was a genuine lawyer.

Chanaka then received instalments at different dates totalling $7 000 meant to settle the loan.

Mashavira further alleged that Chanaka converted the money to personal use and caused Machisa a $7 000 prejudice.

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