HARARE – Businessman and musician Energy Mutodi accused of swindling more than 16 000 civil servants of several amounts totalling more than US$6 million yesterday appeared in court charged with fraud.
Mutodi, who was represented by Mr Tendai Hangazha of Hangazha and Partners, was not formally charged when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei who remanded him out of custody to June 28 on US$500 bail.
Mutodi was also ordered to report twice a week at CID Serious Frauds and to surrender his travel documents. Prosecutor Mr Tungamirai Chakurira alleged that sometime in 2006, Mutodi formed the National Housing Delivery Trust with other trustees.
It was agreed that the Trust would appoint trustees that would constitute board of trustees with Mutodi as chairman. The purported objective of the Trust was to acquire land in urban areas and towns and service it for residential purposes for its clients or members.
It is the State’s case that Mutodi knew that the Trust was created as a vehicle to fleece money from home seekers.
A Kingdom Bank account was opened for which Mutodi was one of the signatories. The account was meant to secure all contributions from members of the Trust and the funds were meant to procure land, service and build houses for clients under different schemes.
It is alleged that Mutodi invited membership from civil servants after misrepresenting to them that he would procure, service and build houses for them once they joined and contributed money.
At least 16 000 civil servants acted on the misrepresentation by joining and contributing to the Trust.