2014 $350k fraud rap haunts duo

HARARE - A fugitive from justice who went into hiding after discovering that the High Court had over turned his acquittal in a $350 000 fraud case was apprehended in Harare last week.

He has since been locked up pending delivery of his sentence.

Tonderai Muocha and his accomplice Israel Tangwena — who is currently on the run — had been acquitted by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya on the fraud charge in 2014 — a move which prompted prosecutor Michael Reza to file an appeal against the decision.

Reza’s appeal was upheld by Justice Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore and the matter was returned to the lower courts for Muocha and Tangwena’s sentencing, which is expected to be handed today.

The senior prosecutor had managed to prove that Muocha and Tangwena, who were employed as operations director and managing director respectively by Hedgehold Trading (Pvt) Ltd, had defrauded Harare businessman Douglas Mamvura after using his title deeds to get a $350 000 loan from CBZ and Stanbic bank, respectively.

Reza in his appeal had argued that Mujaya erred in acquitting the duo by admitting evidence of Cosmas Bosha who had clearly told the court that his evidence was based on hearsay.

His main basis for appeal was that the State had managed to prove a case against accused persons beyond reasonable doubt.

Reza proved that during the period extending from July 2013 to July 2014, the suspects approached Mamvura for funding of a new company on condition that he was going to be incorporated into the shareholding and directorship of the company.

Mamvura obtained a loan amounting to $350 000 from two banks, to which he offered his two houses as surety.

Muocha and Tnagwena then issued the complainant with documents which included him as one of the directors of the company.

However the duo later terminated the agreement after a misunderstanding with the complainant and fraudulently replaced him.

The complainant lost $350 000 as a result of the misrepresentation.

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