- Rampant company grabs
- Deeds office under siege
An internal investigation in the Judiciary services has exposed a corporate mafia which has high-jacked the Judiciary system amid reports of massive corruption, grabbing of companies as well as pre-determining the outcome of cases in the country’s courts.
The report states that “powerful forces have joined hands to harass innocent people using the police notably Serious Frauds and officers in the justice delivery system including a cartel of lawyers who now have a reputation of winning cases at the Rotten Row courts.”
According to the report, the judiciary capture came to light following “concerted effort to corruptly acquire Acquriam Trading by a Russian national Nicolay Varenko using Zimbabwean agents.”
Acqurium Trading is owned by a Lebanese-born-Australian citizen Taleb Mohammed and partner Sandra van Rooyen.
The company has been mining chrome in the Midlands province since 2004 until a time when chrome prices took a knock.
Mohammed then sort recapitalisation through a loan of US$400 000 from arenko.
The report states that Varenko then entered into an agreement expressing interest to invest US$2 million for the following 12 months.
“However the recapitalisation fund came in batches which made it impossible to break even,” states the report.
“To protect his investment Varenko brought in Zimbabweans, Heena Josh as managing director and lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa as the company secretary.”
The report also states that after paying the last batch of the US$2 million, his local partners requested a board meeting with Mohamad.
“Upon his arrival in Gweru, he was told that the company was now officially taken over by Varenko through his investment arm Tamira Overseas.”
Josh produced a forged CR14 which indicated that Mohamad had resigned and he reported the matter to police for further investigations.
Josh approached the Bulawayo High Court to seek liquidation of the company and an appeal was made under case number HC2020/14 where the judgement was reversed.
Varenk, through Josh then sought to take over the company by reporting the matter to Serious Frauds (Case number 12/15) but again Mohamad was acquitted of any charges.
Another attempt was made to grab the mine by raising another case through Obi Mabahwana, a former senior public prosecutor at the Harare magistrates’ courts.
“Mabahwana reported the issue at Borrowdale police station under RRB2953338. He and former ZRP commissioner Oliver Chibage were instrumental in having the case handled in Harare.”
Investigations revealed that a cartel involving lawyers, namely Mlotshwa, Chibage, Michel Reza (public prosecutor), Chris Mutangadura (Chief law officer in the National Prosecution authority), Justice Chigumba as well as Justice Hungwe, has been involved in the case to ensure a pre-determined outcome.
Despite efforts to report the case, Mohamad had spanners thrown in his way as all media outlets could not publish his complaint against judiciary capture.
Sources close to the development said fake documents produced by Josh had been stamped in police commissioner Augustine Chihuri’s office suggesting corruption is rampant.
“When the matter was reported, Mutangadura kept the docket for eight months until he was pressured to allow for prosecution,” the source said.
“Unfortunately, Josh was acquitted despite overwhelming evidence, and again this showed the extent of judiciary capture by the powerful.”
In another related matter, Sydney Hambira was issued a warrant of arrest for the fraud of US$31m at the city of Harare together with engineer Zvobgo and the former town clerk Tendai Mahachi. The issue involved a company called Erac. After Hambira was issued with the warrant his brother who is a superintendent at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was given $50 000 by Hambira to give to Mutangadura. Mtangadura was given the money and he cancelled the warrant for Hambira and instead instructed that he be brought to court on the summons.
Sources also said the grabbing of companies is being done by Nathan Mnaba and Nyasha Muzavazi who have connections at the registrar of deeds. Mnaba and Muzavazi are the ones who authored the fraudulent cr14 that Joshi used according to Gweru court records. The same Mnaba and Muzavazi are embroiled in a property wrangle with the Savania family where he fraudulently acquired a deed to a disputed property at number 750 Gaydon Borrowdale. He used the fraudulent deed to get a loan of $138 000 from the Stanbic bank.Two Magistrates recused themselves in the matter having realised how connected Mnaba is at the court and the matter is now being tried by a magistrate from Bulawayo. Mtangadura was bribed to allowed Kudakwashe Unity Mhike who stole $8 000.00 from RAM Petroleum to appear by way of summons. The theft was so glaring and Mhike skipped the border to South Africa. Sources within the NPA now say Mtangadura is now known as Mr Proceed by way of summons. In the Acqirium case Mabahwana is the one who wrote the state case for him and Chibage were promised $50 000 and they wanted the case to be heard in Harare despite the jurisdiction of the case being Gweru. After the presiding magistrate ruled that the case was a summons matter Mutangadura immediately indicted the case to the high court.
Sources also said the report was issued to various media organisations which could not publish the story amid reports of underhand dealings.