THE Chitungwiza man accused of colluding with Spirit Embassy Church leader Prophet Uebert Angel Mudzanire to defraud a Harare businessman of his $300,000 Bentley Continental, has denied the charge.
Anderson Tagara, 35, pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud when his trial opened before Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa Tuesday.
Allegations against Tagara – who operates a car dealership in Harare – are that he was an accessory to the offence that was allegedly committed by Mudzanire, who has since been issued with a warrant of arrest.
Tagara’s lawyer, Itai Ndudzo, told the court that the complainant, Ndabazinengi Shava, who is the managing director of Faith Age Holdings, had exonerated his client through a confession in which he said he gambled his property.
He said those facts were outlined in documents filed in a High Court application in which the complainant sought an order to have Mudzanire return his vehicle.
Ndudzo told the court that Tagara was an established businessman in the line of importing high value vehicles for sale on the local market and had acquired the vehicle at the centre of the dispute for himself.
“In February 2012 accused duly purchased his own Bentley Continental vehicle from Jack Barclay Bentley and Bugatti Sales (London) using his sole and exclusive funds,” he said.
In his testimony, Shava, however, told the court he entered into a verbal agreement with Tagara so that he could facilitate the importation of the Bentley Continental motor vehicle.
This was disputed by Tagara who claimed that Shava only approached him with an offer for the purchase of the vehicle sometime in May 2012, long after his acquisition of the car.
The complainant, however, said he lost the vehicle after giving it to Mudzanire as “seed” in 2013 after he was promised that he would reap three-fold the value of the car he would have given in three months’ time. It is alleged that Mudzanire changed the vehicle’s ownership in connivance with Tagara.
For the State, Editor Mavuto told the court that some time between March 8 and 17 2012, Shava gave Tagara $240,000 for the deal through Centrust (Pvt) Ltd.
Tagara was said to have proceeded to import the Bentley Continental using the money and gave it to Shava who was allegedly subsequently defrauded by Mudzanire.
The court further heard that between May and October 2013, Tagara, acting together with Angel, signed a fraudulent agreement of sale to the effect that Benjamin Mudzanire had bought the motor vehicle in question for $76,000.
On December 16 last year, police detectives recovered the fake agreement of sale, leading to the arrest of Tagara.
As a result of the misrepresentation, Shava allegedly suffered prejudice of $300,000. Tagara is out of custody on $200 bail.