Tycoon's land trial stalled

HARARE - The trial of businessman Craig John William Danckwerts, which has sucked in Mashonaland East Zanu PF provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde, failed to proceed on Thursday, with claims that the tycoon raised concerns with the Prosecutor General’s office.

Danckwerts is facing fraud charges, after he allegedly sold 300 hectares of land to another businessman Chemist Siziba, before filing fraudulent forms at the Registrar of Deeds offices purporting to be still in charge of the properties.

Prosecutor Michael Reza on Thursday told Harare regional magistrate Sandra Mupindu, that Danckwerts had raised unspecified issues with the Prosecutor General’s office, which awaits a response before trial commences.

Mupindu remanded the matter to February 11.

Danckwerts purportedly claimed to be a co-director of the properties with Kaukonde and others.

According to State papers, the land in question is located near Harare International Airport, and was identified in court documents as Lot 4 and 5 of Arlington Estate measuring 200, 0347 and 104, 0809 hectares respectively.

It is alleged that in December 1998, Siziba, through his firm Hawkhope Investments, purchased the entire share capital of Danckwerts’ two firms trading as Nyland Enterprises and Great-Insight Investments.

Both firms fell under Danckwerts’ holding company Danbro Holdings.

The court heard Danckwerts together with one Paul Rijk Peacey resigned as directors of the two firms leading to Siziba together with Margret Siziba and Bernadette Sekai Veteranwa assuming control of the two firms as the new directors in August 1999.

However, prosecutors claim that between 2011 and 2012, Danckwerts turned against Siziba and caused his arrest accusing him of stealing his firms.

But police investigations revealed that Danckwerts had allegedly submitted a fraudulent form to the Registrar of Companies between February 2011 and May 2012 purporting to be still a director of the firms at the centre of the controversy.

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