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MP’s wife up for fraud

court

A prominent Bulawayo lawyer, Doreen Vundhla-Phulu allegedly defrauded a client of US$26 000 in a botched residential stand deal.

Vundhla (41) of Burnside suburb in Bulawayo and wife to Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Nkulumane Member of Parliament Kucaca Phulu, allegedly duped Mr Innocent Makope when she purported to be an estate agent and duped the complainant of his money.

Her law firm Vundhla-Phulu and Partners has since been placed under curatorship on the orders of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) for allegedly conning Mr Makope of his money in the sale of the fictitious residential stand.

Following its curatorship, the law firm ceases operating, and Bulawayo lawyer Mr Vonani Mojoko was appointed curator to manage its activities.

Vundhla appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Rachael Mukanga facing fraud charges and she was remanded to May 9.

According to court papers, sometime in 2018, Mr Makope bought a house and engaged Vundhla to process some paperwork to change ownership.

After noticing that the complainant had an interest in purchasing properties, Vundhla allegedly told Mr Makope she was also selling a stand in Sunninghill suburb for US$30 000, a charge she later reduced to US$26 000.

The court heard that Mr Makope proceeded to view the stand and was satisfied with the deal. He then transacted an amount of $40 000 in local currency after the two had sealed an agreement and the money was equivalent to US$26 000 at the time.

“After payment, the complainant made a follow-up on paperwork with Vundhla, but failed to receive the document,” read court papers.

To his shock, Mr Mukope later learnt that the stand he had purchased was no longer available and Vundhla promised to find a replacement for him but failed to do so.

A report was made to the police leading to Vundhla’s arrest.

Recently, police warned the public over an increase in cases of rogue lawyers in Bulawayo conniving with bogus estate agents to defraud home seekers as demand for housing surges.

Last year, police in Bulawayo recorded 32 fraud cases involving the sale of houses and housing stands between January and July.

The police said the city is also recording a high number of cyber-crimes as members of the public adopt internet-based business transactions during the same period.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said members of the public should verify information relating to properties that they intend to buy including visiting the registrar of deeds offices.

In other news – Ghanaian singer Efya claims she started Amapiano

Ghanaian star, Efya claims she originated the famous South African genre, Amapiano. Over the years the origination of the genre has been unarguably credited to South Africa and there is a documentary on how it started; even some of the SA piano musicians have spoken about the sound and it’s origination on interviews.

In a recent interview with Adesope on Afrobeats Podcast, the singer confidently said she started the yano genre with DJ Tunez.Learn More

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