Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
The trial of a Harare man on allegations of swindling a woman of US$18 000 has opened with the suspect denying the charges.
In his defence outline before Harare magistrate Mrs Chido Garwe, Michael Mutsvunguma denied ever receiving money from Colleta Mhishi, who is the complainant.
Mutsvunguma told the court that on the day Mhishi allegedly gave him the money, he was away facilitating the processing of a forensic postmortem on his father-in-law and was in the company of a homicide police team that included Constable Cherai, Sergeants Musakaruka and Earnest Arufaneti.
The complainant had alleged the money was for the purchase of a Mercedes Benz the accused was selling.
Mutsvunguma however denied receiving money saying he had no vehicle that was on sale.
He said the complainant had some deal with his sister, Victoria Dhlamini, who is said to be on the run.
Mutsvunguma said the complainant wanted to illegally take away his vehicle through misrepresentation.
Allegations are that on May 3 this year, the complainant was approached by Victoria Dhlamini, who informed her that she together with the accused person were selling a Mercedes Benz E250 which she thought the complainant would be interested in buying.
It is alleged that Dhlamini and the complainant arranged for the car to be brought by the accused person to the complainant’s office in the city centre on May 10 for the complainant to view it and buy if she liked it.
Dhlamini allegedly indicated that they wanted to sell to the complainant at a give-away price of US$18 000 so that they could raise money for a business deal in Shamva.
It is alleged that on May 9, the complainant contacted a mechanic Russel Chiweza and asked him to do a mechanical check on the Mercedes Benz before she made a payment for it.
The State alleges that on May 10, Mutsvunguma went to the complainant’s office car park with an unregistered white Mercedes Benz E250.
He allegedly parked it and invited the complainant to come and see the motor vehicle. Chiweza inspected the car and concluded that it was in perfect condition.
Thereafter, the complainant went back to her office to collect the money for payment and i is alleged that she then handed over US$18 000 to the accused in the presence of her mechanic.
After the transaction, the complainant allegedly asked Mutsvunguma to take the car for cleaning and then park it at her house.
The complainant believed that the accused would do as agreed since he knew where complainant resided.
Mutsvunguma allegedly failed to deliver the vehicle as per agreement.
It is alleged that the complainant later called Dhlamini inquiring whether the car had been cleaned.
Dlamini allegedly confirmed that everything was above board and the car would be delivered as promised.
The State alleges the on May 14, both accused person and Dhlamini were no longer reachable on their cell phones.
The complainant decided to report the matter to the police.