By Zvikomborero Parafini
Businesswoman Precious Nyakujara was on Wednesday acquitted of fraud after the presiding magistrate granted her application for discharge at the close of the State case.
Nyakujara was facing fraud charges involving $13 million and an alternative charge of money laundering.
Delivering his ruling, regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna said the State failed to prove its case and the complainant Grant Chitate should seek remedy from the civil court.
“The State must allege and then prove their case, the essential elements of fraud and money laundering by the evidence led and the remedy being sought by the complainant clearly lies in the realms of the civil court.
“The State should have investigated whether she had the fuel or not even though she was paid the money and later turned around that the money had come from an account that owed her money,” said Nduna in his ruling.
The State was alleging that, Chitate was approached by a business colleague Beadle Musatye Gwasira who operates a grocery wholesale business who wanted someone with an account in South Africa to pay for his goods worth R4 million and would settle the equivalent in local currency.
Chitate operates a South African account with FNB Bank and transferred the R4 million from his account to Gwasira’s supplier’s account also at FNB Bank and he confirmed receipt.
In the meantime, Chitate was looking for fuel from different suppliers when Nyakujara advised him that she had 640 000 litres of fuel that he needed.
Chitate then engaged Gwasira who assured him that he had the funds ready and was able to settle his fuel bill then he directed him to pay $13 250 000 to Nyakujara on his behalf.
Gwasira transferred the money to various accounts as directed by Nyakujara who in turn confirmed receipt and assured Chitate that he would receive his fuel in 24 hours.
Two million dollars went into her company account Obstinate Investments, $850 000 went to Rollben Enterprises as payment for cooking oil and sugar, $5 million went to Coltfin Enterprises for various goods for sale and $5,4 million went to Outshine Environ Consult for various grocery items.
Thereafter Nyakujara became evasive and to date, no fuel has been delivered.
By close of business yesterday, the Harare regional clerk of court was in possession of a letter of notice of appeal filed by prosecutor Michael Reza. H-Metro