A 35-YEAR-OLD Harare man, Weston Chigubhu, is alleged to have masqueraded as Lands minister, Douglas Mombeshora, and swindled more than $6 000 from a Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) employee in a fake land deal.
Chigubhu is said to have assumed Mombeshora’s surname after hiring the minister’s lorry, which he contracted to various cotton companies from 2011 until last year and started calling himself Weston Mombeshora.
The State alleges sometime in May this year, Chigubhu approached former Zinara human resources executive, Peter Boterere, purporting to have been sent by the minister to register his vehicles.
Boterere referred Chigubhu to George Chamwaura, the complainant in the matter, to assist him in the registration of the vehicles.
After the first encounter, Chigubhu told Chamwaura the minister was happy with the services he had rendered to him (Chigubhu), hence, he had asked if he could reward him by allocating him a farm under the government’s land redistribution exercise. The State alleges, Chamwaura became interested and was given a Telecel number, which Chigubhu claimed belonged to the minister.
On several occasions, Chigubhu would call using the number, purporting to be Mombeshora, instructing Chamwaura to deposit some money into an Ecocash account of James Maponga, who he claimed was the minister’s driver.
In some instances, it is alleged, Chigubhu would call instructing Chamwaura to deposit cash into other Ecocash account numbers registered in his name or another, registered in his cousin, Tichaona Mukorera’s name, whom he claimed was an official in the Lands ministry.
On one occasion, it is alleged, Chigubhu called Chamwaura, masquerading as the minister, and asked him to assist with $1 000, which he later sent John Gutsa to go and collect.
Following numerous demands for cash by Chigubhu, Chamwaura became suspicious and filed a police report and investigations carried out by the police revealed that the mobile number is registered in Ngoni Chamunorwa’s name, who is the accused’s cousin.
Further investigations revealed that the other mobile number, which Chigubhu claimed belonged to the minister’s driver, was in fact his cousin’s number.
On October 26, Chigubhu was arrested at his house in Crowborough North, Harare, after duping Chamwaura a total of $6 056 and nothing was recovered.
Last week, Chigubhu filed an application for bail at the High Court and the matter was yet to be set down for hearing.