Ex-Kingstons boss' trial suffers setback

HARARE - Ex-Kingstons Holdings boss Brian Sedze’s application for discharge at the close of the State case in which he is charged with 35 counts of fraud has been dismissed.

Harare regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa ruled that Sedze had a case to answer because the State had managed to prove a prima facie case against him.

This is not the first time Sedze has challenged the courts concerning this case.

In December last year, he lodged an application demanding Kachambwa and prosecutor Michael Reza recuse themselves from handling his case, citing procedural irregularities.

His application was declined by Kachambwa who dismissed it as “sinister and malicious.”

Kachambwa argued that Sedze’s intention was “to buy time and create a monster out of me.

“There are no valid grounds for which I can recuse myself,” he said.

He said he had no interest in Sedze’s fate but the smooth flow of the justice delivery system.

In the application, seeking Reza and Kachambwa’s recusal, Sedze, through his lawyer Tazorora Musarurwa, cited several irregularities, which the State however, said were false.

Reza also claimed that Sedze at one time dispatched his friend to persuade him to recuse himself from prosecuting his case.

The 35 counts of fraud against Sedze arose after he allegedly pocketed money owed to National Social Security Authority (Nssa).

It is alleged that Kingstons Holdings owed Nssa $43 552, 54 for non-payment of statutory obligations.

The State alleges that in February 2011, Nssa obtained an execution order at the High Court against Kingstons for settlement of the said debt.

Sedze allegedly hatched a plan to defraud his firm and misrepresented to Kingstons Holdings officials that he had secured a financier called Rachet Investments, willing to lend the company $31 000 to service the Nssa debt.

It is the State’s case that the money was to be paid directly to Nssa and Sedze was the interface in the transactions.

The state alleges Sedze submitted on different occasions to Nssa, contrived electronic transfer copies with a combined figure of $48 000 purporting to be Rachet Investments’ payments to Nssa.

Sedze allegedly claimed $25 362 from Kingdom Holdings saying the money would cover legal fees and interest charged on the loan advanced by the purported financiers. He allegedly converted the money to his own use.

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