BULAWAYO – A man who masqueraded as a Bulawayo City Council debt collector and collected more than $2 000 in dues from an upholstery company faces several counts of fraud.
Richard Ndlovu, 47, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Abedenico Ndebele facing fraud charges. He was remanded in custody to July 25.
The State alleges that sometime in early January, Ndlovu approached M and A Upholsters owner Ismail Esat and falsely identified himself as a debt collector hired by the city council.
It is alleged Ndlovu produced a piece of paper with the complainant’s city council account number indicating he owed the local authority more than $14 000.
The complainant told Ndlovu to come and collect the money in question a few days later.
As per agreement, Ndlovu returned and was paid $500 which he issued a receipt as proof of payment, the court heard.
On January 29 this year, Ndlovu brought the complainant a council statement dating from 2009 to December 2012 reflecting $15 300 in arrears.
On different occasions, the court further heard, Ndlovu would come and demand the money which would be paid in varying amounts of not less than $100.
When Esat quizzed Ndlovu why payments already made were not reflecting on the monthly statements, he reportedly said the deduction would be effected after a few more payments.
The complainant’s suspicion rose as no payments were reflecting on the monthly city council statements as Ndlovu kept on coming for more payment.
Esat sought clarification from the city council which denied any link with Ndlovu.
Luck ran out on the accused when detectives pounced on him as he returned to prey on his victim on 19 July.
The total amount prejudiced was $2 050 and only $100 was recovered.