Intratrek Zimbabwe Private Limited director Wicknell Chivayo is now a free man after a Harare magistrate cleared him of wrong doing in the fraud case he was being jointly charged with a fellow businessman and socialite Genius "Ginimbi" Kadungure.
Chivayo, through his lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri, instructed by Mr Wilson Manase, successfully applied for discharge at the close of the State case.
Magistrate Mr Morgan Nemadire dismissed a similar application by Kadungure, ruling that he had a case to answer and must be put to his defence.
The State was alleging that Chivayo connived with Kadungure and swindled Zanu-PF legislator Cde Dexter Nduna and a Kadoma miner Enos Gatawa of R1 581 890 in a botched mining equipment supply deal. In his ruling, Mr Nemadire said there was no evidence linking Chivayo to the offence.
"The witness' demeanour was good, most of the witness' evidence appeared colourless vis-à-vis the fraud allegations against accused two (Chivayo)," he said.
"Accused one (Kadungure) has a prima-facie to meet while accused two (Chivayo) has no case to answer and is, therefore, acquitted of all charges."
Mr Nemadire said part of the stolen money was deposited into Kadungure's gas company account. He used it without verifying its source. During trial, Mr Gatawa said Kadungure phoned him and offered to return the money. Mr Gatawa said Kadungure gave him back part of the money.
Kadungure claimed he gave Gatawa the money so that his name was not soiled. Cde Nduna narrated to the court how Kadungure admitted during a telephone conversation to stealing Mr Gatawa's money. Kadungure was remanded to November 15 for continuation of trial.
The prosecutor Mr Ephraim Zinyandu alleged that sometime in November 2012, Kadungure and his alleged accomplices created a fake company called Transco Civil Engineering purportedly based in South Africa. He allegedly opened a company account with ABSA bank in South Africa.
Kadungure also created an email account with the address [email protected] purporting to be a representative of Marange Diamonds. Marange Diamonds used to mine diamonds at Chiadzwa.
The State further alleges that Kadungure contacted the complainants and pretended to be the chief buyer at Marange Resources. He claimed to be looking for mining pumps.
Kadungure is alleged to have referred the complainants to Transco with full knowledge it was a fake company.
Cde Nduna and Mr Gatawa were advised to deposit money for the pumps. They did, but the pumps were never delivered.