HARARE – A Harare football academy owner has landed in the dock facing fraud after he allegedly conned four aspiring football stars of more than US$9,000 after falsely claiming he was facilitating trials for them at Manchester City football club.
Agrippa Guti, 47, who owns City Football Academy in Harare, briefly appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei on summons.
He was not asked to plead and will be back in court on 29 February for his routine remand.
Prosecuting, Rufaro Chonzi said Guti conned the victims on separate occasions.
One of the complainants, Justice Nyevhe fell victim after meeting Guti at Alexander Sports Club in Harare.
Nyevhe wanted his son to attend football trials abroad.
The court heard Guti misrepresented that he could facilitate his son’s trip to Dubai where the English champions have football schools offering boys and girls an opportunity to improve their football skills under guidance.
Guti said the trials would run between June 2021 and March 2023.
“Nyevhe paid him US$2,500 for the whole programme,” the court papers read in part.
In June 2022, Guti gave Nyevhe an invitation letter confirming that his son had been invited for trials by Manchester City Football Club.
Nyevhe and his son travelled to Dubai but the English champions distanced themselves from the invitation indicating that the stamp was fake.
Several efforts to get a refund flopped prompting Nyevhe to report the matter to the police.
Another complainant is Didymus Mandinenga who also wanted his son to go for training.
He met Guti at the same area and was duped of US$930 using the same modus operandi.
Erdington Tsuronzuma also lost US$3,800 to Guti while Corneliud Chitima lost US$2,000 bringing the total fraud to US$9,230.