By Fungai Lupande
A Harare man who imported a BMW vehicle into the country on behalf of his United Kingdom-based cousin testified in the case of a former district intelligence officer, Mbereki Mbizo Nyathi, who is accused of concealing the location and ownership of the vehicle.
Nyathi is jointly charged with Ismail Abdurrahman, Hillary Nduna, Samson Marufu, Noah Muneka andMavis Shamiso Taruvinga.
The six appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande facing charges of money laundering.
State witness Simon Chitate told the court that he was instructed by his UK-based cousin, Fred Dune, to pick up the vehicle in Namibia and bring it to Zimbabwe.
“I collected the vehicle on April 18, 2011 and drove to Plumtree border post,” said Chitate.
“Officials at the border post advised me that the vehicle should be registered in my name. I told my cousin and he agreed.
“I did not have enough money for duty and it took the family two weeks to raise the $2 400. I did all the necessary police verifications and processed registration plates for the vehicle.”
Chitate told the court that in September 2011, someone called him asking why he was selling the BMW.
“I contacted my cousin and his wife to verify if the vehicle was being sold and they said they were not aware,” he said.
“The police started looking for me and asked if I owned a BMW. They showed me a photocopy of my national identity card, but it had many anomalies.
“The police officer also showed me a POSB bank statement and a police report purportedly made by me. I never made any police report.”
Trial continues on February 22. The six are represented by their lawyers Messrs Admire Rubaya, Pisirai Kwenda and Simon Simango.
The prosecutor Ms Ressy Nyamombe alleged that on different occasions, the six concealed the true nature, location, movement or ownership of a BMW 320 DA/T.
It is alleged that the accused possessed the vehicle which was fraudulently acquired in the name of Sitlontlo Philemon Mhlongo from Motor Finance Corporation, a division of Nedbank.
The court heard that the vehicle was smuggled from South Africa and was affixed number plates obtained using a fake identity card. The Herald