Two Masvingo men allegedly misrepresented themselves as employees of a non-governmental organization, Christian Care who are on a recruitment drive for piece works before demanding desperate job seekers to hand over their cash for security reasons.
Clifford Muzira (42) and Norman Chiwanza (36) pleaded not guilty to fraud charges when they appeared before a Masvingo magistrate Bishard Chineka on Monday.
The pair was remanded in custody to 14 October for continuation of trial.The state said that on the 2nd of October 2016 at around 1300hours the
accused met Vimbai Matiza at Edgars shop, Masvingo and introduced
himself as Christian Care employee.
The court heard that Muzira offered Matiza a job of monitoring other
workers who could be sharing food handouts to orphans for a token of
appreciation of $25 and grocery payable on completion of the job.
The court was told that Chiwanza then arrived pretending as if he was a passerby and was also recruited by accused one. Muzira led the two to Roman Catholic Church where he showed them a parked truck which he alleged to contain goods to be offloaded.
He then instructed the complainant and the accused two to count their monies for security reasons as the job they were to perform involves handling money.
Prosecutor Nancy Makuvise said that Chiwanza offered his accomplice and Matiza envelopes to put their money which he later sealed and put his signature to authenticate the amount in the envelope. Matiza handed over her $130 which was placed in the envelope and was ordered to go and help other three ladies who were carrying some
groceries from OK supermarket back to the church .
When she returned from the supermarket after failing to relocate the
women, she was handed back her envelope and ordered to wait at Church
as Chiwanza was going to locate the women.
On returning envelopes to their owners, court heard that Chiwanza
swooped complainant’s envelope with the one with newspapers.
She later realized that she was tricked when she opened the envelope
to buy herself a drink only to find newspapers in the envelope and
made a police report.
The pair were arrested two days later by police on patrol who saw the
duo using the same modus operand on unsuspecting people.