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Con-artists torment Masvingo with new bag of tricks 

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Con-artists torment Masvingo with new bag of tricks 




MASVINGO – Two con-artists who tormented Masvingo residents with their new bag of tricks were denied bail after they faced three charges of fraud.

Charles Shumba alias Pius Makaha (51) and Moffat Shoko (..) are accused of defrauding three women on different occasions using different tricks. Magistrate Rethagtcetsi Silaigwana denied bail to the two suspects who are represented by Madock Chivasa of Lovemore Madhuku Law Firm.

They were remanded to January 16, 2023.

The court heard that on October 15,2022, Charles Shumba Alias Pius Makaha (51) met Alginia Tichagwa at Junior Complex in Masvingo and he pretended to be a Zambian truck driver who could not speak fluent English and wanted assistance in communicating with his accomplice Moffat Shoko.

He said he wanted to sell blankets to Shoko.

The complainant agreed to assist and she talked to the accused’s accomplice over the phone. The accused then told her that he had precious ruby stones which he wanted to sell and promised a reward to both Shoko and Tichagwa.

Shumba then handed over the precious stones to the two. However, before he left, he demanded surety that the two would surrender the proceeds after selling the stones. Shoko declared surety of US$200 and the complainant declared US$30 but Shumba refused the US$30 as too little. The complainant then led the accused and his accomplice home where she gave the accused US$130 and a Huawei cellphone.

Shoko left the complainant and the accused and said he was going to meet the buyer and the complainant would then bring the stones. Shumba followed a little later and that was the last the complainant heard from the two. She then made a Police report.

On a different occasion, on November 4, 2022, Shumba met Shumirai Venganai who was walking towards Croco Motors. He pretended to be helpless and wanted assistance to count money at Chevron Hotel where he wanted to carry out a transaction; selling weaves and precious stones. On the way to Chevron, they met Shoko who indicated that the buyer was at Masvingo industrial area. Shoko offered to carry Venganai’s bag and started walking fast leaving the accused and the complainant behind and suddenly disappeared with the bag which had a Hicense cellphone, clothes, ZAR200, US$90, Itel 1205 and a passport belonging to Pauline Mukarati. The offered to look for Shoko and he also disappeared leaving the complainant alone.

On November 12, 2022, Shumba defrauded Tinotenda Masikitu at a public toilet near Old Croco Motors in Masvingo. He pretended that he had some lightening creams that he wanted to collect at Chevron hotel and he wanted the complainant’s help to communicate with his accomplice. On their way to Chevron hotel, they Shoko and he asked for the complainant’s cellphone so that he could call the buyer. He was given the phone and he started making calls while moving around and suddenly disappeared with the cellphone which had US$40 in its pouch. Reports were made to the police leading to the arrest of the accused and his accomplice.

Godknows Mugondo prosecuted.

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