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Bail ruling for aspiring MP set for tomorrow

Bail ruling for aspiring MP set for tomorrow

Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje will tomorrow deliver ruling in a bail application by aspiring Member of Parliament for Makoni West Moses Ruwona and his accomplice Macmillan Chiweshe, who are allegedly involved in a US$500 000 fraud case.

The pair allegedly issued fake receipts of payments to a local telecommunications firm and a financial services company.

In opposing bail, the State led by Mr Pardon Dziva called Detective Assistant Inspector Brighton Samaneka who said the two are not proper candidates for bail.

The detective told the court that the case involves some extra-territorial investigations which must be conducted in Zambia.

He said the two were likely to flee if granted bail and that their likelihood of interfering with witnesses was high.

He further stated that the State had overwhelming evidence against the pair.

Det Asst Insp Samaneka told the court that the two were facing a serious offence that calls for a lengthy jail term and that might induce them to flee.

However, during cross-examination, the defence led by Mr Oliver Marwa, said Det Asst Insp Samaneka wanted to criminalise a civil transaction for the purposes of pleasing those who had sent him.

Mr Marwa also said the reason why the complainant is not claiming the full amount is because this is an ongoing civil transaction.

He said that even the complainant had committed an offence, if the RBZ Act was to be followed properly.

Mr Marwa further stated that the charges that Det Asst Insp Samaneka was calling serious were going to crumble at trial.

He said that extraterritorial investigations were fake and a plan by the detective to keep the pair in custody for the purposes of pleasing those who had sent him.

Mr Mambanje deferred the matter to tomorrow for ruling.

The court heard that sometime in December last year, the complainant Aubrey Chademana was awarded a contract by Liquid Telecommunications Holdings (Pvt) Limited in Zimbabwe to supply outdoor wifi routers. Chademana was supposed to import the wifi routers from Liquid Telecommunication Holdings in Mauritius.

Mr Dziva further alleged that on December 8, Chademana engaged Ruwona who undertook to settle the payment using his offshore foreign currency account.

On the same day, Chiweshe received US$630 400 from Chademana and forwarded it to Ruwona to settle the bill.

Ruwona reportedly provided a fake proof of payment document claiming to have transferred the money from his account in Zambia to Liquid Telecommunications Mauritius’ Standard Bank.

On January 20, Ruwona and Chiweshe again sent the complainant another fake proof of payment.

They did the same on February 3.

On February 15, they sent a proof of payment of US$426 420 and on February 17, they sent a proof of payment of US$203 910.

On March 7, they successfully transferred US$280 332 and US$132 151.24 to Liquid Telecommunications Mauritius, but failed to account for the remaining US$218 249.

Using the same modus operandi, they allegedly defrauded Assess Finance of US$256 000 in a deal to import some fabric material.
The complainant reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the two accused persons.

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