Mohadi in $20m property wrangle

HARARE - Vice President Kembo Mohadi is demanding $20 million in damages from a Beitbridge-based company for selling a fuel station he was renting without giving him the right of refusal to purchase the property as agreed.

Mohadi and his business partner Josias John Moyo have since approached the High Court seeking to compel the company to pay them $20 million for loss of business.

In the application Mohadi, Moyo and the estate of the late former Cabinet minister Thenjiwe Lesabe are the applicants, while Babra Lunga, Impact Trust and Executors, Reginald McGillivray Dawson, Afric Petroleum (Private) Limited, Beitbridge Town Council, the Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe, the Registrar of Deeds and the deputy master of the High Court, Bulawayo are cited as respondents.

The court heard that sometime between 2014 and 2015 and at Dawson’s instance, Lunga and Impact Trust and Executors, acting in their capacity as liquidators of Nerry Investments (Private) Limited, Red Queen Trading (Private) Limited and Spoornet Investments (Private) Limited, acting together with Beitbridge Town Council and with the intention to defraud the applicants, double sold Stand number 1418 Beitbridge Township to Afric Oil Petroleum (Private) Limited.

Lunga is accused of having liquidated Nerry Investments (Private) Limited without Mohadi’s knowledge, following a business wrangle between the politician and Dawson, who were both shareholders in the company.

After liquidation, the company was reportedly transferred into Dawson’s Red Queen Trading(Private) Limited.

“The plaintiffs became fully aware of these facts in 2016 when the following fraudulent conduct was unravelled through Zimbabwe Republic Police serious frauds squad investigations.

“The said fraudulent double sale subsequently led to fourth defendant (Afric Oil Petroleum (Private) Limited) taking registered title of Stand numbers 1418 and 1419, Beitbridge Township, Beitbridge in 2014,” the court heard.

According to the court papers, Stand number 1418 had been subdivided to create Stand number 1419, which was being leased with an option to purchase to Nerry Investments, in which Mohadi, Moyo and estate of Lesabe were shareholders.

The company was running a fuel depot at the premises under lease No. A/1228/10 for seven years between 2010 and last year.

“The said, lease with an option to purchase which had been initiated by the 1st plaintiff (Moyo), 2nd (Mohadi), 3rd (estate of Lesabe) plaintiffs and 3rd defendant (Dawson) for the benefit of their company called Nerry Investments (Private) Limited which was fraudulently put into liquidation by 3rd defendant (Lunga), was not terminated as required by law by 5th defendant (Beitbridge Town Council) until July 2017 despite the double sale.

“Sale of Stand Number 1418 Beitbridge Township was a fraudulent double sale in that, whereas the lease with option to purchase by and between Nerry Investments (Private) Limited and the 5th defendant (Beitbridge Town Council) was still subsisting and valid and had not been cancelled in compliance with the provisions of Section 8 of the Contractual Penalties Act (Chapter 8:04), 1st defendant (Lunga) acting in the course of her employment of the 2nd defendant Impact Trust and Executors) and acting in concert with the 3rd (Dawson) and 5th defendant (Beitbridge Town Council)  sold the property to the 4th defendant (Afric Oil Petroleum) who knew or ought to have known because the said lease with an option to purchase was registered and had a supporting council resolution and was always kept as a public document in the 5th defendant’s office,” the court heard.

The applicants further said the subdivision of the same stand was fraudulently and illegally done in contravention of Section 25 and 26 of the Land Survey Act (Chapter 20:12) in that the diagrams and subdivision plan was not drawn by the local planning authority and no attested surveyor surveyed the land.

According to court papers, the sale was not supported by any council resolution and laid down procedures were not followed.

“The said sale was fraudulently done by a liquidator (1st defendant) acting in concert with a minority shareholder (3rd defendant) of a company in liquidation into the name of another company in liquidation Red Queen Trading (Private) Limited and the sale was not supported by any known council resolution and known procedures for sale of land were deliberately not followed by 5th defendant.”

Further claims are that the sale was well-calculated to paralyse the fuel business, adding that their company was never insolvent.

The applicants are now demanding a declaratory order for the agreements of sale entered between the parties for the property to be declared null and void.

They further seek the cancellation of title deeds registered in the name of Afric Oil Petroleum (Private) Limited, among other issues.

They also seek payment in the sum of $10 million for loss of business and equipment, a $2,3 million which they claim is the value of the fuel equipment and property that was fraudulently sold during the transaction, $7,7 million for loss of fuel, bonded warehouse storage and motor vehicle clearance business.

The respondents have not yet responded to the application but have since entered an appearance to defend.

Comments (1)

Every politician is running a personal business, no wonder the country is in tatters.

sky - 9 February 2018

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