Court dismisses false fraud claim

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has dismissed a case in which Patience Chivasa had attempted to have a South African businessman Dharmesh Nagar convicted on false charges of fraud and forgery.

According to information at hand, the two entered into a Zanu PF party-regalia supply deal and after which confirmation orders were issued, and a business development fee — for other businesses — was paid by the 41-year-old merchant, but the transactions later turned sour.

The South Africa-based businessman whose Zimbabwean business interests collapsed after a protracted battle to secure payment after being defrauded, said he was happy justice has now been served.

Nagar, Strategy director of Media Revolution, has been acquitted in the civil action brought by the Zimbabwean businesswoman allegedly connected to the once-powerful Zanu PF G40.

The case, which dragged on for two years during 2015 and 2016, related to over $20 000 which was owed to Media Revolution after a campaign run by Chivasa. 

Harare magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura yesterday found no basis in Chivasa’s argument saying it lacked coherence and acquitted Nagar of all charges.

Chitumbura said the court found no evidence that Dharmesh had “hacked and forged her email after in a bid to fabricate fraud charges against the Harare businesswoman”.

Nagar was embroiled in the “hacking and forgery storm” after Chivasa alleged he had accessed her e-mail in a bid to fabricate fraud charges against the Harare businesswoman, a charge he strenuously denied.

“Sometimes in December 2014, the complainant (Chivasa) and accused had a misunderstanding before the business was done, and the complainant opted to pay back . . . the $20 000.

“This did not go down well with the accused who realized he had lost potential to do big business with the complainant.

“The accused then filed a criminal docket against the complainant with fabricated allegations,” state papers said.

In an effort to strengthen his case, it is alleged, the Indian businessman allegedly — accessed and — edited one of the 52-year-old woman’s e-mails, and which formed the basis of Chivasa’s prosecution for alleged theft of trust property, another charge he successfully denied.

But upon further scrutiny of the papers — presented by detective assistant Smart Mandofa and used in her criminal trial — the complainant noted some anomalies related to differences in content, and after which she approached experts, including the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

There were variances between her original dispatch.

However, the court established that Chivasa failed to produce the forged document, which was curiously never produced in her case as an exhibit.

The court was also worried that she only reported the case in 2016, more than a year after being made aware.

Nagar’s legal counsel successfully applied for discharge arguing that all this showed that Chivasa was a dishonest person who pursued the case with ill intentions.

They argued that she may have connived with the second witness detective assistant Mandofa in order to frustrate Dharmesh from pursuing the $20 000 owed to him by Chivasa.

Chivasa admitted in evidence that she still owes Dharmesh $20 000 which was paid in December 2014.

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