$600k land saga: TSL trio seeks acquittal

HARARE - Tobacco Sales Limited Company (TSL), which is accused of fraudulently selling State land in Mazowe resulting in a local businessman being prejudiced of over $600 000 in a botched deal, has applied for acquittal.

The company, represented by its chief executive officer Washington Matsaire, is jointly charged with the firm’s managing director Richard Musvaire and its finance director Peter Mujaya.

TSL is accused of swindling Mohamed Ibrahim Yakub, a Harare businessman who is the director of an investment firm Zazu (Private) Limited.

The trio deny the allegations.

Prosecutor Michael Reza said TSL allegedly swindled Yakub by claiming it was selling 50 percent of shares in its “subsidiary” firm Luxaflor Roses in 2011, before further claiming that it was leasing Plot, Lot 1 Manyewe Estate in Mazowe.

The land was being utilised for a flower business.

Yakub became interested in the land, leading to his negotiations with Musvaire, the court heard.

Musvaire allegedly told Yakub that the flower business was being sold for $600 000, of which $200 000 was supposed to be paid directly to TSL and the balance to creditors, and outstanding expenses including the firm’s royalties.

Further to that, Yakub was informed that he would be required to pay $1 800 per month under a 25 year lease for land where the flower business was being conducted.

After all the agreements, Yakub was later approached by Margret Zinyemba, who was in possession of an offer letter from the Ministry of Lands in February 2012, claiming to be the rightful owner of the land, leading to the current prosecution.

The trio is now seeking an acquittal, claiming the State had failed to prove its case, while on the other hand Reza said he had managed to build a stronger case.

The three told the court that they were acting in their official capacities when they handled the transaction.

Reza on the other hand said they cannot escape liability by claiming to be the firm’s servants.

“It is clear at this stage that the three accused persons knew that Lot 1 of Lot 1 of Manyewe Estates was compulsorily acquired by government. This is because in 2008, they attempted to engage the Lands Committee to be given the farm,” Reza said.

Harare regional magistrate Sandra Mupindu deferred the matter to October 17, to deliver a ruling.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.