Tendai Gukutikwa Court Correspondent
A MUTARE City Council ambulance driver who masterminded a litany of vehicle theft scams that rocked the city late last year, duping unsuspecting motorists of their cars after forging agreement of sale documents which he used to obtain default judgments at the Civil Courts was this week sentenced to four years imprisonment.
Several motorists lost vehicles worth between $3 000 and $35 000 to Tendai Richman Chigodora (29) and his accomplices.
Chigodora with his alleged accomplice, Washington Jekanyika – whose case is still before the courts – abused the justice delivery system to rip-off the unsuspecting motorists.
Mutare magistrate, Mr Tendai Mabwe, found him guilty as charged and slapped him a four-year jail term.
Chigodora will, however, serve an effective three years after a year was set aside on condition of good behaviour.
Mr Walter Saunyama prosecuted, while Mr Hugo Tanaya of Mugadza, Chinzamba and Partners Legal Practitioners represented Chigodora.
Mr Saunyama told the court that Chigodora approached the complainant, Herbert Garikai Mbiriri, intending to purchase his Toyota Corolla motor vehicle.
“He paid $100 as commitment fee and was given a receipt as proof of payment. The accused person promised to pay the $3 600 balance on December 7, 2016. On November 27, 2016, the accused person drafted his own agreement of sale of the same motor vehicle and alleged to have paid $3 100 for the car.
“He went on to forge the complainant’s signature as the seller and that of Thomas Maendaenda as the witness,” said Mr Saunyama.
Chigodora then went to Mutare Civil Court and misrepresented to the court that the complainant was refusing to surrender the motor vehicle to him on the strength of the forged agreement of sale.
“The Mutare Civil Court then gave a default judgment in favour of the accused person,” said Mr Saunyama.
Mbiriri was later approached by officials from the Messenger of Court who wanted to attach the vehicle basing on the default court judgment.
Mbiriri refused to surrender the Toyota Corolla and he later made his own investigations to ascertain the origins of the default judgment.
The complainant made enquiries at the Mutare Civil Court and was shocked to learn of the $3 100 agreement of sale which was allegedly forged and used in court in passing the default judgment.
He then reported the matter to the police leading to Chigodora’s arrest.