Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
“NOW that the truth is out about my money, those ladies should give it back so that I can get on with my life,” said Sandra (Sandy) Ndebele-Sibindi who was swindled of over $80 000 last month.
The dance queen had given one Simangani Gwemende, an illegal money changer from Bulawayo, almost $90 000 (US$8 330 and $80 000 bond notes) to trade the money on the forex black market.
Gwemende however, subcontracted another person, Lindiwe Ndlovu, to trade it in Beitbridge on her behalf as the rates were apparently more favourable there.
Ndlovu claimed to have boarded a private vehicle to Beitbridge on October 16 and was robbed of all the money when she got off the car in Colleen Bawn for recess and found the vehicle gone.
She then made a report of the stolen money to the police who initiated investigations.
She informed Gwemende who then informed Sandy of the mishap and the musician did not take the issue lightly.
The musician apparently viciously demanded Gwemende to repay her and allegedly forced her to sign an affidavit saying she would pay US$1 000 every day until the debt is cleared.
The matter, that is now before the courts, this week took a twist with Ndlovu admitting that she had made a false report about the money being stolen.
In mitigation, Ndlovu said she made the false report in a bid to raise money for medication as she suffers from cancer.
She was sentenced to six months imprisonment by Gwanda magistrate, Ms Nomagugu Ncube.
Three months were suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar offence within the next three years.
Sandy said the conviction had vindicated her suspicions that it was a bogus story to swindle her of her money.
“I suspected from the onset that this story of the money being stolen was just a cover up. I’ve filed a case against her (Gwemende) in the Bulawayo High Court to get my money back using the law,” said Sandy.
She said all she wants is her money.
“I know that the money is there. Maybe they’ve shared it among themselves. However, what I know is that they’ll pay back every cent that they took from me and claimed it was stolen.”
Asked where she got the lump sum, the mother of three who is married to a businessman — Nkanyiso — said she was a hard-working woman who makes money, not only from her music and shows, but from other business interests.
She said people should not think that she just sings and dances for a living.
“I do other things to make money and fend for my family like any other Zimbabwean who wants to make ends meet. I have over 7 000 chickens that I’m rearing and every six weeks, I sell them and buy chicks among other business interests across the country.
“Also, I’ve been performing a lot this year as it was election season. I was getting hired by political parties and money was coming in and I was saving it,” she said.
The money, Sandy said, was meant to be used for shopping in Dubai.
“That money was supposed to be used in Dubai to buy stuff I wanted to sell.
“I have nothing to hide, if people want to know where I got the money, I can prove to anyone without doubt.”
However, Sandy said this has taught her not to trust anyone.
“I trusted the woman (Gwemende) as I was introduced to her by her sister whose child learns with mine.
I thought she was genuinely helping me out.
“Now I’m broke all because I trusted people with my money,” said a disheartened Sandy.