Air Force boss Shiri loses $50k to conman

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
The trial of a Harare man who allegedly stole $50 000 from Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri in a botched solar power system deal at his farm in Bindura failed to start on Thursday. Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima postponed the trial to Monday at the request of Air Marshal Shiri, who is travelling out of the country.

Accused Brian Tarisai Kambasha, through his lawyer Mr Tazorora Musarurwa, also asked for more time to prepare the defence. Kambasha (31) is jointly charged with his company, Hemmingworth Cartwright (Pvt) Ltd, a registered company in the business of installing solar power plants with Kambasha as chief executive officer.

Prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira alleged that in April 2013, Kambasha approached Air Marshal Shiri and proposed a solar power pilot project at his Hopedale Farm in Bindura.

The court heard that Kambasha also indicated that the project had three stages. Air Marshal Shiri agreed to have the first stage of the project installed at his farm at a cost of $50 125.

On June 7, 2013 Air Marshal Shiri entered into an agreement and paid the money in instalments.

It is alleged that Kambasha only mounted metal stands for the plant and converted the money to personal use.

After two weeks Air Marshal Shiri approached Kambasha who started to give excuses. He allegedly failed to install the plant or reimburse the money leading to his arrest on December 12 last year.

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