POPULAR comedienne Felistas “Mai Titi” Murata appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday facing fraud and theft of trust property charges after she borrowed US$10 000 from a local businesswoman and surrendered a hired vehicle as collateral security.
Murata (36) appeared in separate courts and was granted free bail on both charges.
In the fraud case, she was remanded to April 20 while the theft of trust property matter was remanded to March 21.
Allegations are that sometime in September 2022, at corner Second Street and Speke Avenue in Harare, Murata unlawfully and intentionally misrepresented to the complainant Rachel Mhuka that she was in need of US$10 000 for her business venture and would give complainant her Mercedes Benz vehicle, registration number AFF9759 as surety for the loan which she undertook to pay back by November 30 last year. She allegedly did this well knowing that the vehicle did not belong to her.
Acting on the misrepresentation, Mhuka gave Murata the money.
Murata later claimed back the Mercedes Benz saying it did not belong to her and issued her with another vehicle, an Audi Q5 with registration AFG3701, which she again retrieved and replaced with an invalid passport as surety.
When complainant realised that the passport was invalid, she confronted Murata who immediately returned the second vehicle.
The State alleges that sometime in January this year, police from Rhodesville approached Mhuka and seized the car saying it had been stolen from Else Event Car Hire. This was after the company represented by Liberty Vazhura, reported Murata for theft of trust property.
The State alleges Murata had hired the vehicle on September 29 last year and pledged to make weekly payments of US$770.
The complainant failed to make the weekly payments and became evasive until the matter was taken to police.
The value of the motor vehicle is US$18 000 and it was recovered.