HARARE lawyer, Auther Roy Mabhena, appeared in court yesterday facing fraud allegations after he duped home seekers of $64 315 in botched land deals.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Mabhena of T Kadhau and Associates was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa who remanded him to July 25 on $400 bail.
It is the State’s case that on June 10, Mabhena in connivance with Moses Chikwata and Tendayi Nyambuya, who are known fraudsters and are still at large, placed a newspaper advertisement purporting to be selling residential stands for $55 000.
The complainant, Denias Kagande allegedly expressed interest in the land and contacted a male adult who identified himself as Clemence Mlambo who claimed to be the registered owner of the residential stand.
After visiting the alleged stand, the two signed an agreement of sale and on June 11 Mlambo sent a WhatsApp message to Kagande attaching images of the title deeds. On June 16, Mabhena arrived at Kagande’s office in the company of a woman who identified herself as Clara Mlambo and one of the accomplices posing as the owner of the residential stand.
While at Kagande’s office, Mabhena who identified himself as a lawyer presented a copy of the purported title deed and his accomplices produced plastic identity documents bearing their faces, but with the details of the real stand owners.
Kagande allegedly paid $4 000 cash and transferred $15 000 through mobile money transfer to a POSB Bank account number belonging to Martin Malanga. The complainant and the accused persons allegedly agreed that the balance would be paid the next day.
On June 17, Kagande allegedly transferred an additional $32 815 to Malanga’s POSB account. After receiving the payments, the accused persons allegedly became evasive.
Kagande then visited the stand and enquired from neighbours who told him that the stand was not for sale, and he immediately reported the matter to police.
Mabhena is also accused of facilitating the sale of a non-existent residential stand in Harare for $17 500. Using the same modus operandi, Mabhena allegedly received $17 500 on September 4 last year from unnamed female adult who is a marketing manager for Kadoma-based mine, Cossy Rules.
After receiving the payments, Mabhena and accomplices disappeared resulting in the complainant reporting the matter to the police.
Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State.