AU consultant up for US$49 000 fraud

Yeukai Karengezeka Court Correspondent

A SENIOR partner and lead crisis consultant for the African Union Peace and Security Directorate at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Chiedza Daneek Nobuhle Kambasha, has appeared in court facing fraud charges involving US$49 200.

Kambasha (41) was granted US$300 bail by Harare magistrate Ms Lynne Chizhou.

She returns to court on March 28 for routine remand. The complainant is Princesse Xela Katuala (24), who is a Congolese national.

Prosecuting, Mr Rufaro Chonzi alleged that in 2006, Ms Katuala came into Zimbabwe with her parents and her father was a consultant for NGOs in Zimbabwe.

Her mother worked at the Embassy of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a secretary.

In 2011, Ms Katuala’s father died and left a house in Mt Pleasant, Harare, registered under deed of transfer 14021/2002. On December 22, 2021, Ms Katuala’s stepmother also passed away leaving the house.

Ms Katuala’s relatives who live in DRC and the United Kingdom mutually agreed with Kambasha to be the custodian of the complainant since she was a close friend of the family.

In May 2023, Ms Katuala registered the estate of her father with the Master of the High Court under OR1085 / 2023 and the house was listed as part of the estate property.

She was duly appointed the executor of her late father’s estate and during the same month, she agreed with her relatives to sell the house and they acquired the authority to do so from the Master of the High Court.

On May 18 last year, the house was sold to Mr Tafadzwa Samson Chiweshe at an agreed purchase price of US$350 000.

Mr Chiweshe paid a deposit of US$50 000 to Ms Katuala and agreed to settle the balance upon transfer of the property into his name.

After receiving the deposit, she entrusted Kambasha to keep her money amounting to US$49 200 in a trust fund whilst waiting to receive the balance from Mr Chiweshe.

It is alleged that Kambasha instead of keeping the funds in trust, violated the trust agreement by converting the funds to her personal use. The offence came to light after Mr Chiweshe cancelled the agreement and requested back his money.

This is when she realised that Kambasha had no money in the trust fund prompting her to file a police report.

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