Trial date set for Mutodi

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has set a trial date for businessman-cum-musician Energy Mutodi who is facing a $2 million fraud charge.

Magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe has set April 28 as the trial date.

The State intends to call 22 000 witnesses in the trial in which the Chigorodanda-hitmaker reportedly swindled Mutare home-seekers of $2 million.

Mutodi also faces similar charges of defrauding Harare home-seekers of $6 million.

The flamboyant businessman had filed an application for refusal of further remand.

He argued that investigations into the case were supposed to have been wrapped up last year.

The State sought a further postponement ostensibly because the investigating officer needed time to record statements from 22 000 witnesses.

Prior to his arrest, police seized the bank account of the trust to which Mutodi is a trustee and signatory but he had applied for cancellation of the seizure order.

“The trust and Mutodi continue to suffer financial prejudice as operation of the trust has been halted,” Mutodi said through his attorneys.

Mutodi said his constitutional right to a fair trial within a reasonable period was violated.

The court heard that Mutodi formed the National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) in Mutare and allegedly defrauded civil servants.

He allegedly lured civil servants to make monthly subscriptions to NHDT for the purchase of land in Mutare’s Gimboki South housing project.

He promised them housing stands but reportedly converted $1 699 620 to his own use.

The State alleges he prejudiced over 1 500 civil servants.

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