HARARE – Zimbabwe’s State prosecutor has dropped fraud charges against Genius Kadungure, in a new twist to the R1,5 million scam that had rattled the South Africa-based businessman.
The self-styled cooking gas tycoon was due to return to court this week for allegedly swindling Chegutu West Zanu PF legislator, Dexter Nduna, and a Kadoma-based miner, Wyclef Gatawa, of nearly R1,6 million.
But National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) commercial crimes head, Chris Mutangadura, has said that the State would “no longer pursue the matter after notification from the second complainant of his intention to withdraw the charges following an out-of-court settlement” and the announcement means Kadungure will not appear in court anymore.
The development also comes as the swaggering 33-year-old businessman had sought to drag Intratrek Zimbabwe (Intratrek) boss Wicknell Chivayo into the case, but the latter’s lawyers — Thabani Mpofu and Manase & Manase — have vehemently denied their “client’s involvement in petty, low-level transactions as he was a businessman of international repute”.
On his part, the ex-Zimbabwe national soccer team sponsor said yesterday: “Please don’t ask me anything about… Kadungure. I don’t know him and have never done any business with him. I’ve only read stories about his parties… and seen him online with his keeper… His inexplicable tactics of… mentioning big names in his… dealings are not only absurd, but preposterous.”
However, the Pioneer Gases founder’s actions had been informed by co-accused Dania Kambwebwe’s admittance that she had received the cash for onward transmission to other parties, thus prompting his lawyers to petition the local prosecutors.
“Our client is surprised that despite his explanation that is corroborated by the witness statement of Dania Kambwebwe, which explains our client’s involvement in the matter, he has been singled out as the only accused person,” Venturas and Samukange said in an April 10 letter to the NPA.
“The statements by Kambwebwe establish the link between… herself, Edward Teka and Blessing Shaya, but the charge sheet has been altered… for reasons unknown to our client,” they said.
Earlier, Kadungure’s lawyers had also queried the wisdom of forging ahead with the trial in a matter, which was also being heard before a South African court.
The State’s case, meanwhile, said that Kadungure and his accomplices purportedly acted as State diamond mining firm Marange Resources’ procurement officials, which later referred the victims to a fictitious supplier called Transco Civil Engineering.
Through this elaborate scam and front of non-existent companies in November 2012, the SA-based energy trader allegedly bilked Nduna’s Badon Enterprises and Gatawa after monies were transferred into the bogus entity’s Absa account. – Daily News