HARARE – A Chitungwiza woman — Runyararo Mawere — who duped an unsuspecting man of $6 500 by posing as a High Court Judge and alleging she was Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s close ally was yesterday arraigned before the courts.
Mawere, who is High Court Judge Esther Muremba’s sister, was denied bail when she appeared before Harare magistrate Gideon Ruvetsa, with the matter remanded to November 17.
She has a similar case awaiting trial, which also weighed against her in her bid to get bail.
In this latest case, Mawere faces charges of fraud emanating from using her relationship with her sister to defraud one Brighton Makaudze
The court heard that by posing as a High Court Judge, she was able to swindle money from Makaudze after deceiving him to invest in an ivory deal, which she alleged involved Mnangagwa.
It is the State’s case that sometime in May, Mawere visited Makaudze’s workplace where her late husband used to work as a boarding master in an effort to recover her late husband’s benefits.
Makaudze was headmaster of the school but had been suspended by the Education ministry and upon hearing of Makaudze’s plight, Mawere is said to have proceeded to send him a WhatsApp message portraying as if she wanted to help lift his suspension.
The court heard that Mawere advised Makaudze that she had told her father who has a law firm about Makaudze’s problems and all he needed to do was to pay for transport only.
She went on to contact Makaudze with another phone line and this time misrepresent that she was a High Court Judge called Esther Mhazo Muremba who had heard Makaudze’s problem and she was to take over from her father who was away in Tanzania on business.
The court heard that the imposter judge then told Makaudze that she had sent a team to do preliminary investigations at Chivhu Education District Office, which pleased the complainant.
As days went by, the pair allegedly fell in love over WhatsApp, further strengthening Makaudze’s belief that “his case was being handled well” and thus continued to send money on a regular basis for the investigations.
The State further alleged that Makaudze was advised by the “High Court Judge” that there was a deal involving a sale of ivory abroad which could get him $25 000 if he invested $300.
Makaudze was told that the deal involved Mnangagwa.
Makaudze sent the $300 to the imposter judge making his prejudice total $6 523 and nothing was recovered.