Innocent Ruwende Senior Court Reporter
HARARE businessman cum musician Energy Mutodi, accused of defrauding desperate home seekers in Mutare of close to US$2 million in a housing scandal, will spend the heroes holidays in remand prison after his matter was struck off the roll.
Through his lawyer his lawyer Mr Farai Nyamayaro, Mutodi who is currently languishing at Mutare remand prison had approached the High Court seeking for bail after a Mutare magistrate ruled that he was a flight risk.
Although the State concurred with the defence that the Mutare magistrate had erred in denying him bail High Court Judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera felt there were issues which the State had not addressed and struck the matter off the roll.
Mr Nyamayaro said he was filing a new application today and expected to be provided with a new date for the bail hearing.
In his bail application Mutodi argues that the Mutare magistrate made an assumption when he said he was a flight risk as there was no evidence to prove the claim.
He argued that when he was apprehended by police he never attempted to flee or behave in the manner that would have police assume that.
Mr Nyamayaro argued that his client is of fixed abode and he did not have any travel documents as they are part of the bail conditions in a similar matter he was arrested for in Harare.
Allegations against Mutodi, who is facing similar charges in Harare involving more than US$6 million, are that he hatched a plan to defraud unsuspecting civil servants and formed NHDT situated at the Zimpost building in Mutare.
He allegedly lured civil servants into paying NHDT monthly payments to buy land in Mutare’s Gimboki South housing project peg, service it and promised to allocate residential stands to each of them.
A total of 1 562 joined Mutodi’s NHDT and he started receiving varying amounts of cash deducted from the complainants’ salaries through a Salary Service Bureau stop order facility and converted the money to his own personal use.
The State says Mutodi was the owner of NHDT and some pay slips of the complainants with deductions of cash towards NHDT would be produced in court as evidence.
The businessman-cum musician is a signatory to funds of the NHDT and is the one who personally benefited from the cash that the complainants lost through SSB deductions, it is alleged.
A total of US$1 699 620 was lost.
Mutodi is facing another fraud charge of allegedly selling a residential stand to two people.