Crime & Courts

False start to US$1,5m fraud trial

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent

The trial in which a Bulawayo businessman and three accomplices allegedly swindled a colleague US$1,4 million in a botched property deal, yesterday hit a snag following indications that the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) had no fuel to bring the second accused Ismail Moosa Lunat to Harare.

Magistrate Mr Morgan Nemadire postponed the matter to today for continuation. He ordered the State to put everything in order.

Allegations are that sometime in August last year, Moosa Lunat approached Patel saying that he was selling one of Mkwananzi’s properties in Bulawayo for US$1,5 million.

It is the State’s case that Moosa Lunat said the property was developed with a two storey building.


Indications are that Moosa Lunat invited Patel to Bulawayo to view the property, before asking for a discount.

It is alleged that Moosa Lunat reduced the price to US$1,4 million and an agreement was reached.

Patel is alleged to have been given some title deeds which turned out to be fake.

The property is alleged to have been sold to Timothy Mafuka Nkomo in 2005 by Iqbal Lunati represented by Moosa Lunat.

Patel paid US$1 million to Moosa Lunat in Bulawayo and the latter signed for the money.

On November 25 last year, it is said Moosa Lunat approached Patel seeking the balance of US$400 000 and the latter paid the money.

Moosa Lunat had the property revalued to US$2,2 million and asked Patel to top up, but Patel refused.

It is the State’s case that Patel asked for the deed of transfer, but Moosa Lunat was evasive.

Iqbal Lunat was roped into the deal and alleged that he had been sent by Moosa Lunat to demand the original deed of transfer.

It is alleged Iqbal Lunat further told Patel that the property had not been sold and that Moosa was never a Mkwananzi director hence he could not sell the property.


When Patel made further enquiries he discovered that the documents he had been shown for the property were fake and he had lost US$1,4 million and nothing was recovered.