The case of a Chinese couple and a local businessman accused of swindling a furniture company of shares worth $500 000 resumed yesterday at Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Zhaosheng Wu and Yan Yu were back in the dock alongside Dawid Johannes Erasmus, the director of Eras Accounting and Executor Services.
The three made a constitutional application to the Supreme Court challenging the criminal aspect of their case. They argued their case was not criminal, but civil, adding by treating it as a criminal case, the State was violating their constitutional rights.
But the constitutional court, led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku sitting with Justices Wilson Sandura, Vernanda Ziyambi, Paddington Garwe and Misheck Cheda, heard the matter on July 14, and unanimously agreed it was criminal.
The court said the charge preferred against the accused, supported by the facts contained in the State outline, revealed a criminal offence.
Earlier, the presiding regional magistrate, Never Katiyo, had ruled the application by the Chinese couple to refer the matter to the Supreme Court, was frivolous and vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
According to the State, the couple agreed to buy Monomotapa Garden Furniture belonging to Atur Fernando Pieria Dias, but allegedly got Erasmus to forge a share certificate, purporting he was the director of Monomotapa Garden Furnisher.
They then allegedly transferred 1 000 shares into the couple’s company, Shomet Industrial Development. The shares were valued at $500 000.
Prosecutor Editor Mavuto is leading evidence from Dias as the fraud case continues.