Mutodi's trial date deferred

HARARE - The trial of businessman-cum-musician Energy Mutodi, who is accused of swindling Harare home-seekers of $588 787, was yesterday deferred to May 12.

Harare magistrate Aidonia Masawi could not proceed with the trial because he is due for leave “making it impossible for the matter to kick-off or for accused persons to be removed from further remand.”

Masawi said postponing the matter would not prejudice the accused persons since they were appearing in court on summons.

“While further placement of remand is an infringement to the accused’s rights, the court has taken into consideration that they are not in custody nor are they detained,” he said.

Mutodi is jointly charged with Boniface Chikono, a trustee in the National Housing and Development Trust.

The flamboyant musician is said to have lured over 16 000 civil servants to join and contribute to the housing trust.

Deduction orders were given to the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) to subtract certain amounts of money on a monthly basis from civil servants who had joined the trust.

It is alleged that sometime in 2007, Mutodi went on to change the account signing arrangement, made himself the sole signatory and signed for all the transactions.

At least $588 787 was paid in by the complainants and Mutodi, contrary to his promises, allegedly withdrew all the money and converted it to his own use.

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