Ivan Zhakata Herald Reporter
A ZIMBABWE Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZETDC) employee allegedly killed an unknown man and faked his own death before swindling Old Mutual Funeral Services of $70 000, a Harare Magistrates’ Court has heard.
David Garudza appeared before magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo today facing charges of murder, fraud and unlawful possession of a firearm.
He will be back in court on Friday after the court granted the police a warrant of further detention to complete investigations.
The court heard that between March 11 and June 11 last year, Garudza, who was employed by ZETDC as a meter reader, opened an Old Mutual Funeral Benefit Plan with a cover of $70 000.
He allegedly listed his wife, Primerose Jecha (22) and his two children in the plan.
Prosecuting, Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on July 12 the same year Garudza, in the company of four accomplices — his two brothers Bernard and Brian, Obert Chingaipe and Alex Mhlanga — killed an unknown male adult in Mutare and took the corpse using a hired vehicle to their rural home in Rusape.
When they reached Takunda Dam in Odzi, it is alleged that Garudza placed the body of the deceased in the driver’s seat before pushing the car off the road purporting that it had been involved in an accident.
He later set the vehicle ablaze and the copse was burnt beyond recognition, the court heard.
Jecha, acting on Garudza’s instructions, went to Old Mutual in Mutare where she reported that her husband had died in a traffic accident near Takunda Dam before claiming the insurance cover.
According to state papers, Jecha was carrying her husband’s policy documents, a certified fake copy of Garudza’s death certificate, a police traffic accident report, copies of her own and Garudza’s identity cards and proof of residence.
On February 23 this year, Jecha was given $70 000 by Old Mutual as cover for her husband’s death.
On October 5, police, acting on a tip off, met Garudza at Fourth Street bus terminus in Harare and arrested him.
He was found in possession of a 9mm Star pistol loaded with two rounds.