Seed firm loses $240k to fraudster
A LOCAL seed company allegedly lost maize seed worth over $200 000 to a suspected fraudster who later sold the seed to maize dealers.
Glazener Muchabaiwa (44) is said to have misrepresented to Klein Karoo Seed Marketing Zimbabwe officials that he was employed by a non-governmental organisation which was looking for 180 tonnes of maize seed to buy.
It is alleged he further lied to Klein Karoo Seed that it had won the tender to supply the seed and the company then delivered 90 metric tonnes of maize seed to Muchabaiwa worth $239 000 on credit.
Muchabaiwa on Wednesday appeared before magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta charged with fraud.
He was remanded in custody to today for bail application.
He is being represented by Mr Raymond Nembo of Nembo Attorneys.
The prosecutor, Ms Linda Gadzikwa alleged that sometime in August, Muchabaiwa hatched a plan to defraud Klein Karoo Seed Marketing Zimbabwe.
He allegedly created a fictitious email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and sent an email to Klein Karoo Seed Marketing Zimbabwe pretending to be a representative of a non-governmental organisation.
In the e-mail, Muchabaiwa allegedly misrepresented to Klein Karoo Seed officials that his organisation was looking for a company that could supply it with maize seed.
Acting on the misrepresentation, the seed company through their representative Beauty Magiya, responded to Muchabaiwa’s email declaring their interest to supply the seed.
It is the State’s case that after some time, Muchabaiwa sent another e-mail to Magiya advising her that Klein Karoo Seed Marketing Zimbabwe had won the tender to supply the seed ahead of other seed companies.
He further informed Magiya that his employer wanted Klein Karoo seed to supply a total of 180 tonnes of maize seed.
According to the State, Muchabaiwa told Magiya that the maize seed was to be delivered in Kwekwe.
The seed company managed to deliver 90 tonnes of maize, which were allegedly received by Muchabaiwa in Kwekwe and the money was to be paid later, the court heard.
Soon after receiving the maize seed, Muchabaiwa allegedly took it back to Harare and hid it at a farm called Strath Farm. It is further alleged that Muchabaiwa started selling the maize seed to agro-dealers.
He became evasive when Klein Karoo Seed demanded their payment, prompting the company to report to the police.