Matsaira's TSL acquitted

HARARE - Tobacco Sales Limited Company (TSL), which was accused of fraudulently selling State land in Mazowe, has been acquitted.

The company — which was charged with fraud — was represented by its chief executive Washington Matsaira. It was jointly charged with the firm’s managing director Richard Musvaire and its finance director Peter Mujaya.

TSL was accused of swindling Mohamed Ibrahim Yakub, a Harare businessman who is the director of Zazu (Private) Limited, an investment firm. The State claimed Mohammed lost over $600 000 in the deal.

However, Harare regional magistrate Sandra Mupindu yesterday found the trio not guilty of the offence. Their lawyer Addington Chinake applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case.

Mupindu said it was not proper to put the trio to their defence. She said the proper complainant in the case was Zazu (Private) Limited and not Mohammed.

She also said that Mohammed had exonerated Musvaire and Mujaya in that he had conceded that they acted in their official capacities during the transaction.

Prosecutor Michael Reza had told the court that TSL swindled Yakub by claiming its “subsidiary” firm Luxaflor Roses was selling 50 percent shares 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.

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

Further claims were made that Yakub was informed that he would be paying $1 800 per month for leasing the place where the flower business was being conducted for 25 years.

The court heard that after the agreement, 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.

The claims led to confusion over the ownership of the land and subsequently the criminal charges that were levelled against the trio.

In their application for discharge, the trio told the court that the state had failed to prove its case.

“Apart from Yakub Mohammed, who tried, but failed, to make reference to fraud, none of the other witnesses called by the State even knew the charge or the reason why the accused were in court,” the trio said in their application for discharge.

“Wherefore, all the accused persons pray for the grant of the application for discharge at the end of the State case and their acquittals on the charge of fraud or any other competent verdict.”

Comments (3)

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this man was swindled twice first by tsl and its executive then by an incompetent lawyer who does not know the statutes of the law

Harare - 21 October 2014

If the plaintiff,paid money for A,but later is informed that what you paid for is none existent ,that is fraud can a charge fail to see that.he was sold state land ,which is not in contention ,yet you find it not to be criminal.Chihombori arasika ..kunegweta ringatibatsirawo here

chihombori - 22 October 2014

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