Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
A RUSAPE man who defrauded a restaurant of beer worth $30 through editing an Ecocash transaction was jailed eight months. Caleb Madhubu was convicted on his own guilty plea when he appeared before Rusape provincial magistrate, Mrs Patience Ururu-Madondo this week, facing two counts of fraud as defined in Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9.23 and pleaded guilty to all counts.
On both counts, Mrs Ururu-Madondo sentenced Madhubu to eight months. She, however, suspended two months of the sentence on condition of good behaviour. State prosecutor, Mr Tafara Chawatama, said Madhubu twice used fake Ecocash transfer messages to buy beer from a bartender at Joe’s Place Restaurant, Barbra Tsitsi Mukwenha.
“On November 30 at around 2pm, Madhubu approached Barbra Mukwenha who was on duty. He told her that he wanted to buy beer through a Ecocash transcation. Madhubu the edited a Ecocash message using mobile number 0783 122 700 with a total value of $18. He showed Mukwenha who did not check whether the same message had been received in her mobile phone.
“The complainant gave Madhubu 1×6 pack of Castle Lite, 1×6 pack of Castle cans and 1×6 pack of Golden Pilsner beer. He went away. Mukwenha later discovered that Madhubu had not transferred the money, thereby defrauding of her beer valued at $18. Nothing was recovered,” said Mr Chawatama.
He further told the court that Madhubu later returned during the night at the same bar and attempted to dupe Mukwenha again who alerted detectives who were in the bar. Madhubu was arrested.
“On November 30, around 8.30pm, Madhubu approached Mukwenha and told her that he wanted to buy beer using Ecocash. She told Madhubu that his total bill was $12. Madhubu edited an Ecocash text message using an Econet line 0783 122 700 and sent the message to a Telecel line before showing the message to the complainant alleging that he had transferred the money to the complainant’s Econet line.
“Mukwenha checked her mobile phone and noted that the transaction was not reflecting in her mobile phone. She then remembered similar transactions which had transpired during the afternoon and realised that she was being duped.
“Mukwenha then alerted detectives who were in the restaurant resulting in the arrest of the accused person. Investigations were carried out and it was discovered that the accused had edited an Ecocash message and used it to defraud the complainant $30 and nothing was recovered,” said Mr Chawatama.