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Magaya fraudsters’ trial fails to take off

By Tarisai Machakaire

HARARE – The trial of five Harare men accused of duping Walter Magaya’s wife of $116 000 in a botched car deal failed to kick off yesterday after one of the accused applied to be exempted from the charges.

Prophet Walter Magaya and his wife
Prophet Walter Magaya and his wife

Victor Ngonidzashe Matiyenga, a car dealer who runs a car sale at Greencroft Shopping Centre and represented by Simon Mupindu when he appeared before regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa, argued that the State outline did not link him in any way to the offence and questioned the validity of him being jointly charged with other accused persons.

The matter was subsequently remanded to July 2 pending the outcome of Matiyenga’s application.

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Oceane Perfumes managing director Hupenyu Ignitious Prosper Mashangwa, Kudakwashe Larry Mapfumo, Cosmas Mushininga and Clifford Tinashe Gonde are also facing  charges of conniving and facilitating evasion of payment of duty on a motor vehicle which had been purchased for Walter Magaya’s wife.

Prosecutor Rufaro Mazvimbakupa alleged that Admire Mango a senior overseer at Magaya’s church wanted to import a high-powered motor vehicle for the cleric’s wife.

Mango sought for a supplier of Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014 model and was referred to Mashangwa.

The two had a verbal agreement that Mashangwa would import the car from South Africa and deliver it by August 22.

Mashangwa was given $80 000 and imported the vehicle on September 15.

He then approached Mango asking for $36 000 which he said was meant for import duty and registration fees.

The vehicle was registered under number ADM 3240 with Central Vehicle Registry.

After importing the vehicle, the group reportedly misrepresented to Zimra officials that the vehicle was a 2004 model and that Magaya had bought it on January 24, 2009 at a KM public auction in Matabeleland.

Due to the misrepresentation, Zimra undervalued the vehicle at $18 000 and the accused persons were made to pay 5 percent of the amount, which is $900.

The anomalies were discovered by Zimra on March 13 this year leading to the seizure of the vehicle and issuance of a notice of seizure to Magaya.

The accused persons’ actions caused Magaya’s wife to be prejudiced of a vehicle that was acquired at $116 000. Daily News