Harare businessman Fradreck Utsiwegota has appeared in court facing charges of defrauding a Singaporean investor of over half a million dollars.
The Singaporean investor, Ramson Bupendra approached the courts in a bid to recover the lost US$517 000 investment from his Zimbabwean business partner, Utsiwegota.
According to the state represented by Thembinkosi Mananga, Bupendra and Utsiwegota registered a company named Decade Mining Private (Pvt) Limited in July 2012.
A year later, Bupendra left Zimbabwe for Singapore to attend to his other business interests and in his absence, Utsiwegota, who was left in charge of their gold mill in Shamva, allegedly sold several assets.
The assets include mining stamp mills, concentrators, a generator, a Toyota Hilux single cab, Mazda 3, Foton seven tonne truck, electric motors, water pumps and gold dump tailings among an assortment of equipment worth around US$517 000.
While Bupendra was away, it is alleged that Utsiwegota would send him messages, urging him not to come back to Zimbabwe, claiming their mining business was facing political interference and that his life would be in danger.
Bupendra only came back to Zimbabwe last year after learning about the new government’s ‘Open For Business’ mantra after which he approached the High Court on 11 June this year which granted him an interdict, stopping Fradreck Utsiwegota from further selling assets belonging to Decade Mining (Pvt) Limited.
Utsiwegota was granted ZW$500 bail, ordered to surrender his passport and report to Highlands Police Station in Harare every Friday when he appeared before Bindura Magistrate, Pamela Chimhini.
The trial commences next month.