Top lawyer disbarred over fraud

HARARE - The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has suspended top Harare lawyer Tamuka Moyo for allegedly misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars belonging to a client.

While the LSZ president Vimbai Nyemba has confirmed the development, the prominent attorney’s suspension comes barely four months after he was slapped with “fraud charges”, along with Tawanda and Winnie Jakachira.

They were disbarred after complaints lodged by businessman Frank Buyanga over fraud they perpetrated at a Greendale property, which has since been auctioned off.

“I confirm that he (Moyo) could not account for funds belonging to (one of) his clients (and essentially) he could not refund the money. We suspended him (and) investigations are going on . . .,” Nyemba told the Daily News.

Moyo’s suspension also comes as several other lawyers have been barred from practising — by the LSZ — for various acts of misconduct, including the abuse of trust funds.

Even though it is unclear whether the Tamuka Moyo Attorneys senior partner and founder’s suspension was linked to the Buyanga case, the feisty lawyer has also had to fend off the fraud charges and another LSZ investigation since July.

According to the maverick businessman’s complaints — via Rivin Venam Trading (Rivin) — the Hamilton Property Holdings (Hamilton) founder feels Moyo, the Jakachiras and Simon Charewa “connived” to dispossess him of one of his properties. Although Buyanga’s main targets were Charewa and the Jakachiras, the self-styled financier and property investor chose to spotlight the lawyer’s role in sustaining demands for a $120 000 refund over the botched sale of the 5 200 square-metre property held under Rivin.

And as the dispute raged, the South Africa-based entrepreneur also queried an arbitration process by retired High Court judge Moses Chinhengo, which gave rise to the current wars.

While the Jakachiras were to buy into the northern Harare property — known as Lot 40 A of Glen Lorne —  through the acquisition of shares in Rivin in 2010, Buyanga says Charewa had no mandate or authority to sign the purported sale documents and just as he could not proffer some evidence that the property had indeed been paid for.

“ . . . applicant has filed a police report against the first and second respondents (Charewa, and Moyo) for masterminding a fraud against him . . . ,” the controversial businessman said in his recent court papers, adding only the then administrator of the Hamilton group could sanction the disposal of any property holdings.

On their part, the Jakachiras say they were to take vacant possession of the Borrowdale property in line with an agreement with Rivin’s representatives.
Meanwhile, attempts to secure comment from Moyo were fruitless.

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