The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Job Seekers Fall Prey to Bogus Cio Operative

A Chitungwiza man masqueraded as a CIO operative and a recruiting officer of the President's Office before swindling eight people of money ranging from US$10 to US$1 200 after promising to recruit them.

Khomani Mbichani lured the CIO aspirants into giving him money after telling them that he would facilitate their recruitment and that they would be trained in Dubai, Russia and Washington DC.

Mbichana (45) was yesterday jailed for 14 months effective after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud when he appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Audrey Tarugarira.

She sentenced him to a total 28 months imprisonment of which eight months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Another six months were suspended on condition that he restitutes the complainants on or before March 29 this year.

Prosecutor Miss Leonella Chitanda had called for a custodial sentence after arguing that community service or a fine would trivialise the offence.

The agreed facts are that sometime in August last year Mbichani approached the six complainants and told them that he works in the President's Office and he could facilitate their recruitment into the organisation.

He was given a total of US$2 540 by the six complainants which he claimed was for processing of application forms. He told them that they were going to be trained in Dubai, Russia and Washington DC before taking them to Harare International Airport for a familiarisation tour. After the tour he promised to contact them before giving them some keys which he claimed were for a Msasa homestead.

Mbichani was apprehended after some days by one of the complainants after a trap was set.

He also pleaded guilty to swindling a 60-year-old of US$965 after misrepresenting that he was going to recover her stolen French door and facilitate the payment of her late husband's pension.

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