By Tatenda Mabasa | Nehanda Mutare Bureau |
RUSAPE – IT never rains but pours for controversial Harare businessman-cum-musician Energy Mutodi who is wanted by Rusape police on charges of defrauding desperate home-seekers in the town of thousands of American dollars.
The maverick tycoon’s world has somersaulted flat in his face amid information gleaned by Nehanda Radio that a dragnet CID squad has been set up to go for him and get him to answer charges that he defrauded hundreds of unsuspecting civil servants.
His victims include nurses, doctors, teachers and police officers, among others who all lost a yet to be quantified amount of money – through his National Housing Development Trust. The scam allegedly backdates to 2006.
A CID official in Rusape, Detective Assistant Inspector Gift Mutigwa confirmed to Nehanda Radio that Mutodi was on their wanted list for fraud.
He said facts and evidence gathered so far indicate that Mutodi –through NHDT –might have abrogated Section 136 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, which cites fraud as a criminal and punishable offence.
Allegations are that Mutodi, who is facing similar charges in Mutare and Harare, hatched a plan to defraud cash from unsuspecting civil servants and formed NHDT which was operating as the Zimtrust Housing Finance. He allegedly promised to avail stands in Rusape and Mutare.
“He promised to avail to them two-roomed houses after making contributions for 36 months. The money was deducted through an SSB stop order facility. He made the victims pay additional money as development fees and some are still paying. Each time the complainants made enquiries about the houses, he kept giving them promises.
“He later shifted goal posts and told them that they would get stands that would have been developed to slab level,” said Dect Asst Insp Mutigwa.
He said the victims later learnt through Press reports that Mutodi had been arrested for defrauding home seekers in other towns and lodged complaints with the police. Mutodi is not a stranger to controversy following his arrest in Mutare for allegedly defrauding home seekers of nearly $2m.
Mutodi allegedly made a misrepresentation to the civil servants to make some monthly payments into NHDT and as a result the accused purported to them that the money they paid was for purchase of land in Mutare’s Gimboki South Housing project, pegging, servicing it and promised to allocate some residential stands to each of them.
A total of 1 562 complainants joined the accused NHDT and the accused started receiving varying amounts of cash deducted from the complainants’ salaries through Salary Service Bureau Stop Order facility and converted the money to his own personal use.
Mutodi is the owner of NHDT and some pay slips of the complainants with deductions of cash towards NHDT would be produced in court as evidence. He is a signatory to funds of NHDT and is the one who personally benefited from the cash that the complainants lost through SSB deductions.