Evidence deleted in Fidelity saga

hammer2Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
FIDELITY Printers and Refiners company secretary Terrence Tererayi Machawira, accused of swindling the country’s sole gold buyer of more than $120 000, allegedly instructed the company’s Information Technology (IT) manager to delete evidence linking him to the offence, the court heard yesterday.

This was revealed by prosecutor Mr Michael Reza during a bail application by Machawira who is denying the charges.

Machawira, who is facing fraud charges involving $124 737, yesterday appeared before magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe for bail application.

He was remanded in custody to today for the ruling.

Mr Reza submitted that with his actions, Machawira was not a proper candidate for bail since he had already interfered with investigations.

Mr Reza said, “Your worship, the IT manager is admitting that he deleted some of the information acting on the instruction of the accused person.

“When investigations are complete the accused person is going to be jointly charged with his workmates who have already appeared in court over the same allegations. In total, the prejudice is in excess of $900 000 and nothing was recovered.”

Mr Reza urged the court to consider the amount of money involved, adding that $124 737, 63 which Machawira allegedly stole was quite a substantial amount of money.

He added that if convicted, the gang faces a maximum prison term of 35 years.

However, Machawira through his lawyer argued that he was a proper candidate for bail and would not abscond if granted bail.

He said that his workmates who are already on remand were the principal offenders.

“Your worship, the detectives deliberately left him when they arrested his superiors and was only arrested as an afterthought.

“The same reasons given by the State today are the same that were submitted before the court when the accused person’s superiors who are the principal offenders appeared in court. If the principal suspects were granted bail, the accused person can be classified as a secondary suspect and should be treated the same,” he said.

After hearing submissions from both counsels, Mr Mahwe deferred the matter to today for his ruling.

Machawira’s workmates; chief operating officer and finance director Godknows Hofisi (41), senior finance manager Tinashe Mumbengegwi (35) and Ronald Madhara (47) an accountant, were last Friday granted $2 000 bail each coupled with stringent conditions.

As part of their bail conditions, each one was ordered to deposit with the Clerk of Court surety worth $100 000 and to surrender their passports.

However, they will remain in custody for the next seven days after the State invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

The section allows the State to hold suspects for a week while it considers appealing.

The trio is jointly charged with their colleague, James Munemo who owns a shelf company, Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.

According to State papers Machawira allegedly used the same fraudulent method used by Hofisi, Mumbengegwi, Madhara to defraud his employer.

Machawira is a signatory to Fidelity Printers and Refiners Stanbic bank account.

He reportedly ordered the bank to transfer $124 737, 63 from Fidelity Printers and Refiners into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd bank account. He misrepresented that Munemo had supplied gold to Fidelity Printers.

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