Duped man fails to recover cars
A case in which a Harare man who lost two vehicles in a botched transaction under which he was supposed to get a residential stand in Ashdown Park, Harare, took a new twist this week when a Harare magistrate, Ruth Moyo, ruled against the man’s unopposed application for him to be allowed to re-take possession of his vehicles.
The vehicles are in police custody and being held as exhibits after authorities opened an investigation into suspected fraud.
The complainant lodged an application at the Harare Magistrates Court seeking release of the two vehicles, a Toyota Hiace Quantum and a Honda Airwave, which have been at Police Commercial Crime Division for the past three years.
The complainant was allegedly duped by two men, Calvin Marimo and Temba Dzamwarira, who failed to transfer ownership of the residential stand despite receiving full payment for it.
The complainant made the application for the release of the exhibits before Harare Magistrate Ruth Moyo who on Wednesda ruled against the complainant despite his application going unopposed.
It was the State’s case that sometime in 2020, Marimo and Dzamwarira were arrested facing fraud charges involving US$16 000.
Allegations were that the duo misrepresented to the complainant that they were the rightful owners of a residential land in Ashdown Park.
The complainant became interested in the stand deal and agreed with Marimo to swap the stand with his two vehicles.
The court heard that Marimo then told the complainant that the stands were registered under the company, Suastar Africa (Pvt) Ltd. He claimed he had acquired the land from the firm
An agreement of sale was signed with Dzamwarira as witness and Silvester Maruza signing on behalf of Suastar Africa.
The complainant then handed over the two vehicles in exchange for the stand.
After about a week, the complainant went to the stand intending to put a structure, but to his surprise he was prohibited by security guards from doing so.
The guards told the complainant that Suastar had no residential stand in Ashdown Park and the stands belonged to Rawson Properties.
He asked Marimo about the development and was referred to Dzamwarira and Suastar Company. Suastar Africa (Pvt) Ltd however distanced themselves from the disposal of the vehicles after they indicated that they never took custody of them.
The complainant reported the matter to police leading to the arrest of Marimo and Dzamwarira. After a full trial, the magistrate acquitted Marimo, Dzamwarira and Suastar Company.
In her ruling, magistrate Ruth Moyo said the State was supposed to wait for the High Court’s determination concerning the same matter, before charging Marimo and Dzamwarira with fraud.
The complainant the applied to be allowed to retake possession of his vehicles since the deal for the stand had fallen through.
The application was not opposed by any party but the magistrate still ruled against the complainant leaving him feeling hard done as he had not had access to his vehicles for three years.
Lawyers representing the complainant querried how a ruling could be made against their client when his application sailed through without opposition with former accused person Dzamwarira declining to appear before the Magistrate saying that he had nothing to do with the said exhibits.
Dzamwarira and Marimo had sold the cars to third parties impersonating the complainant. The impersonated agreements were presented before the court as proof.
In her dismissal of the unopposed application, magistrate Moyo indicated that if she granted the application in favour of the applicant, she would appear to be contradicting herself from the ruling clearing Dzamwarira and Marimo of fraud.
As it stands now, the two cars are in no-man’s land.