Tich Mataz bailed on fraud rap

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    Mataz, real name Tichafa Matambanadzo, is accused of swindling a Harare man of US$5,000 in an alleged con which has already seen two others, including a former top commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, charged.

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    The former Coca-Cola On The Beat star, deported from South Africa in 1998 over identity fraud, was not asked to plead in a brief appearance before Harare magistrate Shane Kubonera.

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    He was freed on US$100 bail.

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    Prosecutors say Mataz, working with Air Commodore Kennedy Remigio Zimondi and a Harare woman, Edith Chinyangare, defrauded one Jimmy Makurumbandi of US$5,000.

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    It is alleged that they misrepresented to Makurumbandi that they had organised a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, on government business.

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    The arrangement was that Makurumbandi would go on the trip with Matambanadzo and Chinyangare in place of Zimondi whom they alleged was under a travel ban.

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    The trio, it is further alleged, told Makurumbandi that the trip was “self-sponsored”, but undertook to refund him upon their return.

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    Makurumbandi was allegedly shown a “travel confirmation” which was only a booking. The trip never materialised.

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    Zimondi, 56, and Chinyangare appeared in court last week and were freed on bail.

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    Zimondi, meanwhile, faces another charge of defrauding a Harare man, Muboko Zvitei , of R235,000 in connivance with two other men, Jackson Makate, 29, and Blessing July, 26.

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    Mataz was arrested in 2007 over allegations of defrauding the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Basic Commodities Supply Intervention Side (Bacossi) programme. The matter is yet to go to trial.

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    He was a radio high flyer on South Africa’s 5FM before being kicked out of the country after it was established he was using fake immigration documents.