Lawyer's embezzlement case withdrawn

HARARE - The State has withdrawn charges against Edson Tapuwa Mudambanuki, a senior Harare lawyer, accused of embezzling $30 000.

The charges were withdrawn after the complainant said the barrister had paid back the $30 000 for his client’s mortgage debt.

Prosecutor Michael Reza yesterday told regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa: “The State wishes to withdraw charges before plea at the instance of the complainant, Tonderai Nhika.”

Mudambanuki was being accused of pocketing his client’s money meant to cover a mortgage debt owed to Zimplats (Private) Limited (Zimplats).

He was facing fraud and theft of trust property charges.

Reza had claimed that the 50-year-old lawyer swindled Nhika, who is the head of corporate projects and structured finance with the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe.

Allegations against Mudambanuki arose in 2009 after his client Denford Mugauri engaged the senior lawyer to represent him in a civil suit.

This followed Mugauri’s failure to pay a mortgage loan owed to Zimplats.

In March last year, the High Court ruled that Mugauri was supposed to pay the capital sum of $155 090, plus a 5,8 percent interest every year dating back to May 2008.

According to State papers, the money was supposed to be paid within six months, failure of which he was to surrender his Greystone Park house.

Mugauri asked Mudambanuki to surrender the house, but the lawyer opted to have the property sold and realise a profit.

Mugauri later gave Mudambanuki the mandate to sell the house for at least $250 000 in July last year, before he sold it to Nhlalo Moyo.

The transaction, however, failed to succeed, further leaving Mudambanuki with an obligation to find another buyer.

The six months within which Mugauri was supposed to pay the money to Zimplats lapsed and he asked Mudambanuki to surrender the house, but the lawyer kept on holding on to the property.

He later sold the house for $210 000 to Nhika in September last year and transferred $180 000 into Zimplats’ trust account and pocketed the difference.

However, Zimplats refused to effect change of ownership for the property, demanding the full payment.

As a result Nhika was prejudiced after failing to take full ownership of the house.

Comments (1)

The majority of the Zimbawean lawyers are highly corrupt, kanaku High Court its all corruption. There is no rule of law in Zimbabwe as some of these lawyers have taken advantage of the vulnurable people particulary women and children by squandering trust funds and hiding behind the inflation.

Jonathan - 23 April 2014

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