Fungai Jachi Court Reporter
A Harare magistrate yesterday said Spirit Embassy founder prophet Uerbert Angel Mudzanire was the real perpetrator of the crime in a case in which his accomplice was convicted and fined $4 000 for defrauding a city man of a Bentley Continental sedan vehicle valued at $300 000.
Anderson Tagara (35) was found guilty of being an accessory and not of fraud as regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa indicated that Tagara only took part in the deal after Prophet Angel had already committed the offence.
“You only played the role of facilitating for the sale of the car by signing the agreement of sale and the affidavit, but you were not present when the prophet told Ndabazinengi Shava to cede the car.
“Therefore you cannot be charged with theft of trust property but rather you played the role of an accomplice by helping Prophet Angel to sell the car to a third party without verifying with the real owner of the car,” he said.
In passing sentence, Mr Mupeiwa said he had considered that Tagara was a first offender and that first offenders did not deserve a harsh sentence.
“Severe punishment is not for first offenders however, a blind eye cannot be turned that you played an important role by signing the agreement of sale and affidavit as if you were the one who had sold the car to Benjamin Mudzanire,” he said.
Mr Mupeiwa said a fine was an appropriate punishment for Tagara as there was no evidence that he benefited from the offense.
“Although you did not benefit from this crime, the court cannot ignore that someone lost a very expensive car through your aid,” he said.
Facts are that sometime in February 2012, Shava engaged Tagara to purchase a Bentley from the United Kingdom.
Shava entered into a verbal agreement with Tagara so that he could facilitate the importation of the motor vehicle. Sometime between March 8 and March 17 in 2012, Shava gave Tagara $240 000 for the deal, through Centrust (Pvt) Ltd.
After collecting the money, Tagara went on to import the Bentley Continental sedan registration number ACO 1759, and handed it over to Shava. Sometime in 2013, Shava lost the car to Angel through fraud. The court heard that sometime between May and October 2013, Tagara, acting in common purpose with Angel, allegedly signed a fake agreement of sale to the effect that Benjamin Mudzanire had bought the motor vehicle in question for $76 000.
As a result of the misrepresentation, Shava allegedly suffered prejudice of $300 000.