AFRICAN Businesswoman Association (ABWA) chief executive Shamiso Fred yesterday appeared in court for allegedly defrauding 16 clients by enticing them to invest in her egg and dairy business promising them that they would benefit an average of US$700 monthly as profit.
Fred, who is being jointly charged with her company, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa charged with fraud.
Through her lawyer Mr Rungano Mahuni, she pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted US$500 bail.
Fred was also ordered to surrender her passport to the clerk of court and return to court on December 18.
The complainants are Thulani Victor Nyoni ,Monalisa Muleme Zulu,Hillary Kangara,Patience Chigariro (43) of Kuwadzana 6, Patience Mussa, Timothy Bizert Sengwe, Joseph William Nyamunda, Reuben Zulu, Wadzanai Nyakudya, Yvonne Winnet Manyora, Farirai Mercy Chieza, Constance Mashingaidze, Judith Tsitsi Mashingaidze, Wendy Vesta Kuda Spiteri, Stella Kambombe Zuze and Patrick Ndlovu.
Prosecuting, Mr Anesu Chirenje alleged that Fred misrepresented to the 16 complainants mentioned above by advertising on various social media platforms inviting various clients to invest in her company which specialises in egg production and dairy farming.
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The condition was that one would pay a non-refundable joining fee of US$39 and invest US$1 000 for a slot in egg production and US$2 000 for a slot in dairy farming and offered them a lucrative profit margin.
Fred allegedly lied to the complainants that after the investment, they would benefit US$250 per month as a profit share in egg production and US$450 per month as a profit share in dairy farming.
The complainants invested various amounts totalling US$196 553 and GBP 2,072 towards egg production and dairy farming during the period between December 2020 and October 2022.
Upon maturity of their investment only Nyoni, Mussa and Sengwe received part of the profit total of US$ 19 005, and the remainder never received anything.
Realising that they had been duped, the complainants made reports to the police leading to the arrest of Fred.
Total value prejudiced is US$196 553, £2 072 and only US$ 19 005 was recovered.–Herald