Ex-MP in court for defrauding friend US$100 000

A businessman lost US$100 000 to self-styled Kenyan magicians who made him believe they had the ability to multiply the cash to US$300 000.

The businessman had allegedly been linked to the “magicians” by a friend, former Makoni North legislator James Munetsi.

He only realised that he had duped after discovering that the pile of what was described as multiplied money was just a bunch of paper. This was when the alleged fraudsters had already left his house.

Munetsi (57) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi yesterday charged with fraud and was remanded in custody to Tuesday for his bail application.

The courts was told that last month, Munetsi in the company of two outstanding accomplices named as James and Solomon from Kenya, worked to defraud Nyasha Masoka. 

On December 4, Munetsi as Mr Masoka’s long time friend and accompanied by James and Solomon went to Mr Masoka at his workplace. Munetsi introduced the two accomplices as magicians who could multiply cash. 

They conducted a test run in which Munetsi demonstrated using a US$10 note and they realised US$30 which they shared amongst themselves and bought refreshments. 

Munetsi persuaded Mr Masoka to source a large sum of cash giving him assurance that the deal would boost his business. 

Then on December 7,  Munetsi’s two accomplices came to Mr Masoka’s residence where he agreed to engage in the deal after getting an assurance from him. Mr Masoka gave them US$100 000 on condition that they were going to realise a total of US$300 000 which they were going to share.

Munetsi’s accomplices wrapped the cash after mixing it with pieces of black paper and some unknown substances.

 During that process, Munetsi’s accomplices swapped the bundle of real cash and replaced it with a similar one but containing pieces of paper without any cash in it. 

After a waiting for 24 hours, Mr Masoka checked the bundle and discovered that he had been duped. 

A report was made at ZRP Avondale and detectives from CID Homicide Harare carried out investigations, leading to arrest of Munetsi. 

Total value defrauded is US$100 000 and nothing was recovered. Mr Thomas Chanakira appeared for the State.

Herald

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