The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Unsuspecting People Hire Out Cars to Conman

A Harare man allegedly stole six vehicles worth over US$200 000 after misrepresenting to the owners that he wanted to hire the cars. Bransbie Bhamu (34) reportedly forged agreements of sale before selling the cars at give-away prices.

The cars included a Nissan Hardbody, Toyota Hilux double cab and a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Bhamu yesterday appeared in court before Mr Hosiah Mujaya charged with six counts of theft of a motor vehicle.

He was remanded in custody to February 11.

Mr Mujaya advised him to apply for bail at the High Court due to the seriousness of the offence.

Prosecutor Ms Kudzai Chigwedere alleged that on August 16 last year, Bhamu approached Stanmore Munyukwi at his home and hired his Nissan Hardbody worth US$15 000. They agreed that the car would be returned on September 8 and that the hire fee would be US$65 per day.

The State alleges that Bhamu went with the car and never returned it.

Munyukwi discovered that he had been duped and reported the matter to the police.

Bhamu then obtained a duplicate registration book of the car purporting that Munyukwi had sold it to him. It is the State's case that with the help of Llyod Nyabunze, Bhamu obtained a duplicate registration book of the car before selling it to Phillip Samudzimu for US$6 500 on January 23.

Bhamu, the State alleges, hired another car, a Toyota Hilux double cab worth US$54 000 from Noel Jakaza which he never returned. Using the same method, Bhamu stole Lillian Gora's vehicle, Toyota Landcruiser valued at US$35 000. He again sold it to Samudzimu for US$17 000. It is further alleged that Solomon Nhamo lost his Toyota Hilux valued at US$44 000 to Bhamu. Bhamu sold the vehicle to Weston Masanga for US$16 000.

The director of Hilltop car hire company also lost his vehicle to Bhamu valued at US$15 000 but the court heard that it was sold for US$6 500.

According to the State, Bhamu stole another vehicle from a car hire company valued at US$40 000 before selling it for US$32 000.

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