The Deputy minister in the ministry of Defence, Victor Matemadanda has testified in a matter in which he was duped of $600 by a man purporting to be a stranded former Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Mafios Cheda.
The suspected conman, Tinashe Munhuweyi (36), is alleged to have targeted the elderly prominent figures like Matemadanda, Bubi legislator Richard Moyo (Zanu PF), Great Zimbabwe University professor Ben Siyakwazi of various amounts of money.
Matemadanda narrated his ordeal in court expressing his shock at the inhumane nature of the conmans who take advantage of the elderly fleecing money from them when they are supposed to be watching over them.
During cross examination, the eloquent ‘con man’ accused Matemadanda of paying off the investigating officers and giving them fuel to which he denied. Munhuweyi also told the court that he never benefited anything from Matemadanda except through his services to the public via government.
Allegations are that on September 17 last year, Munhuweyi contacted Matemadanda while purporting to be Justice Cheda and misrepresented that he had two trucks which had run out of fuel at Chirundu Border Post.
He allegedly requested for $600 to refuel the trucks and pay for other expenses.
Munhuweyi allegedly asked Matemadanda to transfer the money into a supplied Ecocash account and promised to repay the debt as soon as possible.
After the transaction went through, Munhuweyi allegedly became evasive. Matemadanda later conducted his own investigations and discovered that he had been conned. He reported the matter at Harare Central Police Station.
Using the same modus operandi, Munhuweyi contacted a Great Zimbabwe University professor Ben Siyakwazi and lied that he was Justice Cheda and currently working in Namibia.
Munhuweyi indicated that he was in South Africa and seeking medical attention. He further told Siyakwazi that he was facing some serious problems and requested the complainant to assist his son, Christian Cheda, whom he alleged was studying at Makerere University in Uganda.
He alleged that his son’s vehicle had been confiscated by a Harare motor mechanic for failure to pay for repairs.
The court heard Munhuweyi instructed Siyakwazi to transfer $400 into an Ecocash account registered in the name of Patience Muchenje.
He reportedly later claimed that his son had been involved in a road accident soon after collecting the vehicle from the mechanic and was admitted at Beatrice Hospital, prompting the complainant to send him additional money, bringing the total to $7 263.
On September 28, Siyakwazi’s friend visited Justice Cheda’s home in Bulawayo to inquire about the injured son, only to discover that they had been duped. Siyakwazi then reported the matter to the police.
Using the same modus operandi, Munhuweyi duped former High Court judge Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe’s son, Naboth, of $2 300. Bubi legislator Moyo lost $1 500 to Munhuweyi and Rudo Kariramombe lost $1 088. Nothing was recovered.
Patience Chimusaru appeared for the State.