Magistrate dismisses Fidelity boss's stay of proceedings bid

HARARE - Fidelity Printers and Refiners accountant Ronald Madhara’s application for stay of proceedings in a fraud case involving $800 000 was thrown out yesterday after a magistrate ruled that he had failed to present convincing reasons.

Madhara is jointly charged with Tinashe Wellington Mumbengegwi, senior finance manager, James Muneno of Swisspak Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd on allegations of fraud and money laundering.

They appeared before Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa represented by Gift Nyandoro, Oliver Marwa and Muyengwa Motsi, respectively.

Madhara’s lawyer Nyandoro wanted proceedings temporarily stayed pending review of the ruling by Mupeiwa to acquit Godknows Hofisi, chief operating officer and Terrence Tererayi Machawira, company secretary, leaving Madhara, Mumbengegwi and Munemo to face the rest of the trial.

Mupeiwa acquitted Hofisi and Machawira at the close of the State case after considering that there was no evidence to prove essential elements relating to fraud and money laundering against the two.

“The accused person’s application for stay of proceedings lacks merit and the defence did not cite any case law or section of any statute to substantiate their submissions,” Mupeiwa ruled.

Motsi and Marwa who are representing Mumbengegwi and Munemo then notified the court of their intentions to move for separation of accused persons’ trials on December 8.

Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged that sometime in 2008, Munemo opened a shelf company that was in the business of selling and fitting electrical gadgets.

During the period extending from October 2013 to September 2014, Hofisi, Mumbengegwi Madhara, and Machawira transferred $579 042 from their employer’s account into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd Stanbic bank account.

It is further alleged that between December last year to April this year, a further $201 518 was transferred into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.

The court heard that an internal auditor unearthed the offence on June 4 last year.

The accused persons reportedly misrepresented that Munemo had supplied gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

It is alleged that Munemo would withdraw the money and share it with the quartet.

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