Man up for $1m fuel scam

HARARE - In a botched fuel deal, a Harare businessperson has been dragged to court on criminal charges after he allegedly swindled nearly $1 million.

Future Chirangano Muvirimi, 48, a director of ADDX Trading 528 (Pty) Ltd, a South African registered company, appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Court on fraud charges.

According to state papers, the complainant in the matter is Broad Fuels (Pvt) Ltd, a company registered in Zimbabwe and South Africa and whose directors are Mark Broadbent and Pedzisai Garwe.

The company is in the business of buying and distributing fuel, while Muvirimi’s firm is into procurement, transportation and selling fuel.

Charges against Muvirimi, who is also a director of Downtown Petroleum, began in February 2008, when he verbally misrepresented to the directors of Broad Fuels that he was an international fuel dealer and trader.

According to court papers, Muvirimi told the Broad Fuels directors that his company was a registered agent of Sasol Oil, a South African fuel firm. He allegedly claimed that he was in a position to supply Broad Fuels’ sister companies with fuel, adding that deliveries will be done through his company.

It is alleged, Broad Fuels through its sister company, Mystical Trading (Pvt) Ltd made payments to Muvirimi’s company.

Muvirimi, who is represented by Charles Chinyama, made deliveries through his Zimbabwean company.

It is in December 2008, according to state papers, when Muvirimi received money to deliver 705 724 litres of diesel and failed to fulfill his promise. It is alleged Muvirimi had promised to deliver the fuel within 14 days.

According to state papers, efforts were made for Muvirimi to deliver the fuel, and in 2010, he acknowledged receiving payment. He allegedly promised to make the delivery by July 2010, but failed to do so.

Garwe later reported the matter to the police in February 2011, but according to state papers, Muvirimi could not be brought to book because he had been secretly travelling between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

He was subsequently arrested on January 31, this year. According to state papers, Broad Fuels lost $988 104 in the deal and nothing was recovered.

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