SOCIALITES Tyra ‘Madam Boss’ Chikocho and Admire Mushambi, who is popularly known as Mama Vee, were key players in popularising the E-Creator Ponzi scheme whose subscribers were duped of over US$1 million.
This was heard when the E-Creator founder, Zhao Jiaotong, and director Trymore Tapfumaneyi, appeared in court over the weekend.
The court heard that the two socialites were engaged to advertise the Ponzi scheme and make it attractive to subscribers on their social media pages, which command over a million followers.
On Facebook, Madam Boss has over 1,3 million followers while Mama Vee has over 700 000 followers.
Admire Mushambi known as Mama Vee
It is alleged that Jiaotong, Tapfumaneyi and their accomplices – Justin Kuchekenya, Billy Thomas Syedou, Abraham Mutambu and others who are still at large – registered E-Creator Economic Commerce Private Limited in January this year.
The company was housed at Joina City.
They launched the company as an online e-commerce operator.
They went on to misrepresent to their investors through various ways, including using the social media influence of the likes of Madam Boss and Mama Vee.
The deception was that the investors would enjoy monthly returns, depending on the mounts.
Thousands of Zimbabweans flocked to join.
On top of appointing brand ambassadors, they also employed various agents in major towns and cities throughout the country in order to market the business.
On July 3, some of the subscribers encountered challenges in accessing their funds and approached the company for clarification.
A member of the syndicate, Abraham Mutambu, assured the subscribers that it was a system upgrade that was affecting access to their funds.
He further advised them that the situation would normalise in due course.
Zhao Jiaotong’s passport
On July 5, subscribers were shocked to realise that E-Creator Electronic Commerce Private Limited had actually sent a notice on their website that they were no-longer operating.
They posted a picture of Zhao Jiaotong claiming he was the one who had taken their money and absconded to China.
The investors went to the company’s offices and found out that they had been closed permanently.
Jiaotong was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport as he was about to fly out of Zimbabwe.
The duo is expected back in court today to file their bail application.
The State is also expected to have secured a Chinese interpreter for Jiaotong as he indicated that he doesn’t understand English.