By Nyore Madzianike
A United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean woman lost US$88 000 to her lover who allegedly duped her on the pretext that he was investing the money in some businesses in the country.
Joseph Tapfumaneyi Musika allegedly duped Caroline Davida Kaunda (39) of the cash after allegedly misrepresenting to her that he was investing the money into business back home.
Musika appeared at the Harare magistrates’ court last Friday charged with fraud and physical abuse.
The assault charges arose after Musika allegedly assaulted Kaunda upon being questioned over the investments.
He was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi.
The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti opposed his bail application.
“He is a flight risk and considering the amount involved which is an incentive for him to abscond court.
“Penalty provision might also be an inducement for him to flee.
“We have four witnesses who will testify against the accused in the first count and another witness in count two. We have a strong case against the accused.
“He has contacts in Dubai who would fund him to finance a life on the run from law enforcement.
“We are aware he has a valid passport that he regularly uses to travel out of Zimbabwe to conduct business.
“He has financial and economic interests outside the country which will allow him to fund a life on the run,” he said.
Mr Mutsokoti said Musika also showed a propensity to interfere with investigations after locking up Kaunda in a lodge for seven days to avoid people from seeing that he had assaulted her.
Through his lawyer, Musika said if granted bail he will attend trial and was not a flight risk. He said he is a family man running a flourishing business.
“He can surrender his passport. It is not correct that he has ties outside the country.
“We were not made aware of any witnesses and there are no risks of the accused interfering with witnesses.
“No report has been made since 2017 and it was only made yesterday.
“Accused went to the police station seeking sanctuary from the complainant who had hired goons to assault the accused,” he said.
Musika said no money was deposited into his account and the money was sent to him as lovers not for investment.
He said the monies were far much less and only for his upkeep.
Musika said the charges were trumped up to humiliate him.
Mr Mutsokoti, prosecuting, had it that sometime in July 2017, Musika told Kaunda that he was planning to register a company and needed US$5 000.
It is said Kaunda sent the money but Musika did not register the company.
Musika allegedly told Kaunda that since he was a member of CIO there was no need for documentation in gold and diamond trading, as the business was based on trust.
After a while, Musika is said to have asked for US$40 000 for the purchase of mining equipment which Kaunda sent with an additional US$20 000 for travelling and other expenses.
The court heard that in 2017, Musika lost his grandmother and asked for money for his funeral and Kaunda sent her US$15 000. It is alleged that Kaunda later heard that the funeral was State assisted.
The court heard that in October 2019, Musika asked for money to consult a traditional healer since business was going down and his personal life was also not doing well.
Kaunda allegedly sent the money. The Herald