Harare: A Mbare resident, who connived with his wife to play brother and sister before tricking a Kuwadzana man into paying $4 000 bride price(lobola), pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday.
Brian Nkatazo Mathe (30) and his wife Stephanie Pullen (22), who also pleaded guilty, appeared before provincial magistrate Victoria Mashamba charged with fraud.
The duo will be sentenced today.
According to prosecutor Idah Maromo, sometime in February this year, Mathe and Pullen, who are husband and wife, hatched a plan to steal from Nyakanyaka Msipani (56) and they opened a Facebook account, where Pullen would lure Msipani into falling in love with her.
The court heard Mathe and Pullen later met Msipani before Pullen introduced the former as her brother.
Msipani and Pullen agreed to marry, but he was told that their parents had passed on some years back and only his “brother”, Mathe, could stand in the position of the in-laws.
Msipani was also told that he had to pay lobola to Pullen’s surviving “brother”, Mathe.
The court heard that Msipani proceeded to pay $3 000 in March through bank transfers to Mathe.
Mathe then presided over the marriage process and promised to escort the complainant’s “wife” Pullen to his residence after two weeks.
After almost two weeks of waiting, Msipani then received a call from Mathe advising him that his wife was in urgent need of medical assistance.
Msipani then gave Mathe his bank debit card and PIN number with instructions to use only $100, but, instead, Mathe and Pullen went on to withdraw $589 and then became evasive.
The court heard they later met Msipani and indicated to him that they had used all the money to pay medical bills and requested some groceries from him.
The three went to a supermarket, where Mathe told Msipani that he would get some cash back.
The court heard Pullen then took Msipani’s other debit card and went into the shop, leaving Mathe and Msipani outside the shop.
Pullen and Mathe then disappeared again with the debit bank card which had $440. The two went on to squander all the money.
Msipani later came across Mathe in the central business district and caused his arrest.