Byo house fraud suspect kept in jail

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Andile Tshuma, Court Reporter
A BULAWAYO man has appeared in court for allegedly defrauding a home seeker of $15 000 after selling him a house belonging to someone else.

Zenzo Sibanda (47) of Nkulumane suburb appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Sithembiso Ncube and pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Magistrate Ncube remanded him in custody to tomorrow for continuation of trial.

Prosecuting, Mr Jeremiah Mutsindikwa said Sibanda placed a newspaper advertisement in 2015, purporting to be an agent selling a house on behalf of someone else.

The complainant, Mr Michael Nyoni, saw the advertisement and went to view the house that was purported to be for sale in Old Luveve suburb.

“On March 10, 2015, the complainant met the accused person and one Sitemamalus Ncube, who was said to be the seller of the house, at Nicoz House building in Bulawayo. It was however, in the name of Ntombana Ncube, who is late and was sister to Ncube,” said the prosecutor.

The court heard that an agreement was drafted by the accused person for the two parties.

Sibanda allegedly received $15 000 from Mr Nyoni as payment for the house under the pretext that he would deduct his commission and surrender the remainder of the money to Ncube.

He allegedly promised to transfer the ownership of the house to Nyoni’s name and said all documents were in order. He then took his share of the money.

“The accused person took $4 000 and gave Sitemamalus Ncube $11 000 as payment for the house and they parted ways. He however, returned and demanded the money under the pretext that he had checked with Bulawayo City Council and discovered that the house was not in the name of Sitemamalus, hence could not be transferred to the complainant’s name,” said Mr Mutsindikwa.

The court heard that Sibanda was given the $11 000 but did not return it and converted it to his own use.

Mr Nyoni discovered the offence two weeks later when he went to the house, intending to move in. He contacted Sibanda, who admitted that he had taken back the money from Ncube and promised to compensate him.

Sibanda allegedly disappeared leading to Mr Nyoni reporting him to the police in October 2015.

The total money lost by Nyoni was $15 000 and was not recovered.

@andile_tshuma

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