HARARE – A group of Israeli businessmen allegedly swindled of US$3 million by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) church leader Prophet Walter Magaya has warned that it will take the man of cloth to international courts if they don’t get justice from local courts.
The matter is before the High Court of Zimbabwe under Case No. HCH621/23 and the Israelis are being represented by Doug Chanawa of Chanawa Law Chambers Investments and Commercial Law.
Magaya allegedly received the amount through Ronny Levi Musan, the Consul General of Zimbabwe in Israeli appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Musan expressed shock at the scam although he says he still maintains confidence in President Mnangagwa and in Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination.
The agreement between Magaya and a group of Israeli partners which was chaired by Musan was signed on May 12, 2022 in the presence of their Israeli lawyer Akiva Rosner and Everson Chatambudza of Rubaya & Chatambudza Legal Practitioners who is Magaya’s lawyer.
The businessmen said in a statement released to The Mirror that it was unheard of in Israel that a man of God could swindle people in the name of God.
They also complained against swindlers using pictures taken with President Mnangagwa to deceive investors.
“We hope that we will get justice in the courts in Zimbabwe; justice that will give other foreign investor confidence that their money is safe and justice that will act as deterrence to would be swindlers.
“If we do not receive justice, we have all the power and financial capability to sue Magaya in international courts. We will not give up on our honour and on our money in anyway,” read the statement released by lawyer Rosner in Israel.
Magaya allegedly received US$3 million to start a joint venture gold mining project with the Israelis in Zimbabwe. He however, disappeared immediately after receiving the money and did not fulfil any of the contractual obligations agreed upon. It is alleged that no major mining activity has started at the mine and no operating permits have been obtained.
The statement said apart from taking Magaya to Court, they now want him arrested.
“Magaya is lying to investors hiding behind the President’s pictures. It’s time for people to realise that not everyone who takes a picture with the President has the integrity of the President.
“We love the President, respect and appreciate him,” said the statement.
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This is not the first time that investors with close links to Zanu PF or President Mnangagwa had duped international investors. Two years ago, Botswana-based investors were sent from pillar to post after Ragin Kassim of Bradfix Incorporated (Pvt) LTD in Masvingo allegedly duped them of US$795 000.
They tried every Police station, every court and every lawyer but the intrinsic network of the swindlers appeared too complicated for them to unravel.
The investors made an urgent chamber application under case number HC39-21, seeking interim relief for all mining operations at Golden Hill Mine Mashava to be suspended, barred or prohibited. The applicants had turned a once dormant mine into a thriving business enterprise and injected US$795 000 into the said mining project.
The matter was heard by Justice Neville Wamambo who removed it from the roll on April 23, 2021 on the basis that it was not urgent. It is understood that the frustrated investors left the country and never came back.
The Isaralis’ statement said that the investors were exposed to Zimbabwe though the “excellent work” of Musan. They said without him they would never have set foot in Zimbabwe.
Magaya entered the picture following his many years of acquaintance with the Ambassador.
“He introduced us to his church, his hotel and his plan to develop a gold mine with a community participation programme. He used his connection to the Ambassador to get money from us. Without the Ambassador he would not have got a cent from us,” read the statement.
The statement further alleges that Magaya tried to give US$500 000 of the amount to the Ambassador who refused it. The Ambassador allegedly informed the investors about the unusual offer.
According to the agreement, Magaya was going to hold 57% shares and the Israelis 43% with a personal guarantee of Magaya on the principal investment that all the funds would be used to develop the mine.
The statement said Magaya unashamedly used his Church, God’s name and the trust that the Ambassador had in him to swindle the investors of their money.
“It turns out to us that there are people who use God’s house and name for greed and fraud and they still dare to call themselves God’s people,” read the statement.
According to the agreement, Magaya was supposed to use his properties including a hotel in Waterfalls as security but the stories changed after he received the money. He did not even comply with the terms for the transfer of the mine’s proprietary rights, alleges the statement.
“As soon as he got what he wanted, his lawyers stopped communicating with us,” reads the statement.
Ironically, Mnangagwa recently officially opened a state of the art stadium built by Magaya.
Musan said he was marketing Zimbabwe in Israeli on the basis that Israeli is the Biblical Promised land to the people of Israeli and Zimbabwe is the promised land for investment and economic prosperity for the whole world.
He said dishonest businessman were denting the country’s image and compromising the country’s chances of getting more investment.
Magaya’s spokesperson, Admire Mango, could not be reached for comment as his mobile went unanswered.-Mirror