A FORMER employee of a Masvingo-based  housing development company, Shine Plus, has appeared before the Masvingo Magistrates’ Court for allegedly duping clients of over US$3 000.

Byron Mugari, 37, of Mucheke, Masvingo, who is facing five counts of forgery, yesterday denied the allegations before magistrate Simbarashe Gundani.

The court heard that Mugari, who was employed by the housing developer between 2009 and 2019, allegedly printed a fake receipt book with his company logo which he used to issue receipts and pocketed clients’ monies.

According to court papers, Mugari duped Jenifer Muchini, who was employed by the National Railway of Zimbabwe (NRZ), of US$3 870 and $13 000.

“The complainant paid US$3 870 into Mugari’s Mukuru account and $13 000. The complainant was later alerted by Shine Plus that her money had not reached their company. A police report was filed leading to the accused’s arrest.”

In the second count, Mugari allegedly demanded a $3 300 deposit from another client, Tambudzai Forichi, who is a teacher at Nandi Primary School.

Forichi paid the money into Mugari’s account, who, however, used it for personal use.

Mugari allegedly swindled another Entombeni Primary School, Chiredzi teacher, Esnathi Gwisai.

“Gwisai in October 2019 had a debit order query and she went to file a complaint at Shine Plus. She met the accused who asked her to deposit money in his Ecocash so that he could facilitate a smooth flow of the debit orders. 

“She deposited $3 000 into Mugari’s account which he used for personal use,” the court heard.

In the fourth and fifth account, Mugari allegedly misrepresented to Vongai Mangena and Arthur Nyadete that Shine Plus was going to offer them residential stands before demanding $500 from each of them.