SCORES of Bulawayo residents, mostly civil servants are feared to have lost thousands of dollars after reportedly falling prey to a local funeral service provider, Old Funeral Assurance.
The issue came to this publicationa��s attention after a number of disgruntled residents stormed the companya��s premises demanding their a�?harvestsa�? from the money they had invested with the funeral service company for the past four years.
The companya��s premises are located at Zeverely Building which is situated along 14th Avenue between Hebert Chitepo and Fort Street.
Some of the disgruntled people said officials at the company offices said they could not reimburse them because they had no money.
It is reported that in a bid to hoodwink residents to take policies they termed, Cash Baron and Supreme Plan, the companya��s director Charles Musariri sent his agents to them tell them that if they invested their money for a period of three years in the funeral service company they would get it back with an interest of 28 percent.
It is alleged that a number of victims surrendered their account numbers leading the company to start effecting deductions of between $25 and $30 from their monthly salaries.
The deductions were reportedly effected for the past four years in the hope of harvesting more.
However, things took an ugly twist late last year when a�?beneficiariesa�? discovered that Musariria��s policies were not giving them any benefits, leading them to reportedly storm his offices demanding their dividends.
Narrating his experience to B-Metro, an angry civil servant who did not want his name mentioned recounted how he lost $1 120 through Musariria��s said policies.
a�?I repeatedly went to his office demanding to be reimbursed my money but it was an endless sad story of, a�?we will reimburse you.a�� I later doubted his promises after I saw a number of disgruntled people storming his office demanding their money back.
a�?I want people to be aware of these bogus service providers who use all manner of gimmicks to defraud people of their hard-earned cash. The director of the company was so cunning that he set up fake policies and recruited young men and women to bring him customers,a�? he said.
Some of the a�?dupeda�? recipients; Loveness Chitema (49), a teacher at Baines Junior School, Xolisani Moyo (38) and Mthandazo Dube (51) who reportedly lost $900, $1 140 and $820 respectively through Musariria��s money-spinning scheme, reported him to the police. Investigations later led to his arrest.
Musariri is now facing fraud charges as defined in Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Contacted for comment, an official from the company who refused to reveal his name said he was not in a position to speak to the press as the matter was now before the courts.
a�?I cannot speak to you now as the matter is before the courts,a�? he said.