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Published On: Sun, Feb 1st, 2015

Top Law Firm Shut Down Over $350 000 Fraud

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A LEADING Bulawayo law firm, Cheda and Partners, has been placed under curatorship by the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) over alleged fraudulent transactions amounting to $350, 000.


The curatorship means the law firm will cease operations and have someone from outside the organisation put in charge to manage its activities.

Sindiso Mazibisa, a senior partner at the law firm, allegedly conned a South Africa-based local businessman, Titus Ncube, of $350,000 after he tried to buy shares in a mining operation he owned.

Mazibisa, is a member of the Professor Welshman Ncube led MDC formation and lost the national assembly elction for Magwegwe constituency in the July, 31, 2013 poll.

LSZ secretary Edward Mapara confirmed that Cheda and Partners had been placed under curatorship.
“We carried out preliminary investigations and in our findings we discovered that there were a number of questionable transactions taking place there. We then saw it fit to protect members of the public by closing Cheda and Partners for now until we’ve finer findings of our investigations,” he said.

Mapara also confirmed that Mazibisa’s $350,000 fraud allegations were among the reasons why the law firm was put under curatorship.

“There’s no way we can ignore irregularities especially where trust accounts are involved. We’ve to guard accounts with clients’ money. Advocate Perpetual Dube will be the curator,” he said.

Mapara said it was still unclear how serious the transanctions were, adding the LSZ would deregister lawyers if it emerged that they were involved.

“We’ve been advised that there’s an urgent chamber application coming our way although we haven’t been served,” he said.

It is understood Mazibisa and Ncube entered into negotiations over a mining deal sometime in November 2013.

Under the deal, Ncube was to pay Mazibisa $400,000 for 36 percent shareholding in Goodenough Mine in Matobo District.

But problems developed around the evaluation of shares after Ncube had made a part payment of $350,000 into Cheda and Partners’ Trust Bank account. Sources say Ncube then demanded his money back.

“Ncube wasn’t satisfied with the deal particularly on the issue of the evaluation of shares and he then demanded his money back. It looks like Mazibisa was evasive resulting in Ncube reporting the matter to the police and they’re now handling the case,” said a close source.

Mazibisa is popular for handling high profile cases involving politicians, church wrangles and businesspeople.

Efforts to get a comment from Mazibisa were fruitless as he was not answering his phone yesterday. herald

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