Arrest warrant issued against businessman

HARARE - A hunting company director who allegedly used fake court orders to cling on to a safari he had been evicted from has been issued with an arrest warrant after failing to appear in court yesterday.

Leon Edward Andrew, who is the director of Gariya Safaris (Pvt) Ltd, is facing fraud charges, after he allegedly originated fake High Court and Supreme Court orders.

According to State papers, the Bulawayo-based businessman had a hunting contract with Tsholotsho Rural District Council entered in 1992.

However, it is alleged that in February last year, Tsholotsho Rural District Council terminated the lease agreement it had with the 45-year-old businessman.

This did not go down well with Andrew, who then filed a High Court application contesting the council’s decision.

High Court judge Maphios Cheda threw out the application, ruling that the lease agreement was terminated by operation of law.

Andrew allegedly appealed against the ruling in March at the Supreme Court, during a time when Tsholotsho Rural District Council had already entered into an agreement with another company called Lodzi Hunters (Pvt) Ltd.

It is alleged that before the appeal was heard, Andrew originated fake High Court and Supreme Court orders, purportedly overriding Cheda’s ruling.

The Supreme Court ruling was purportedly issued by judges, Vernanda Ziyambi, Paddington Garwe and Anne-Marie Gowora.

It was later established that the three judges were not at work on the day that the order was allegedly issued.

According to state papers, High Court Judge Samuel Kudya, who allegedly gave the other order was also not involved with court duties.

After originating the fake court orders, it is alleged that Andrew served the documents to Tsholotsho Rural District Council and Lodzi Hunters (Pvt) Ltd.

However, Tsholotsho Rural District Council became suspicious of the court rulings, and made a follow up, leading to the discovery of the offence.

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