The High Court ruling last month that effectively stopped Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi from using unorthodox means to gain control of at least three companies owned by a Beitbridge businessman demonstrated once again that our judicial system can still rise above politics.
Mohadi was ordered to refund Reginald Dawson more than $340 000 he illegally withdrew from the companies in a landmark ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha.
The judge gave Dawson the nod to liquidate two of his companies, Redqueen Trading (Pvt) Ltd and Spoornet Pvt (Ltd), because the businessman could no longer withstand the harassment by Mohadi. Dawson was tormented by the minister to a point that he had no option, but to give up his investments in Beitbridge, a town that is obviously in desperate need of jobs.
According to facts presented before the courts in the protracted case, Mohadi was invited into the businesses by the Dawson family as a gesture of goodwill.
But probably because of greed, the top Zanu PF official decided he could help himself to the investments in the same way members of his party invaded white-owned commercial farms under the guise of empowerment.
The fact that Dawson is a white Zimbabwean made it easy for Mohadi to camouflage this obscene theft.
He was found to have swindled Dawson’s parent company Nerry Investments and another one already under liquidation of $340 000, which the minister has been ordered to pay back.
He was also found to have authorised the company to pay for his son Campbell Junior’s rental expenses in South Africa where he is training as a pilot.
While the extent of the abuse of office by the minister is not surprising as it reflects the dominant Zanu PF mentality, it is still hard to understand why Mohadi was allowed to get away with it for so long. There is no doubt there are many similar cases that have gone unreported or were mishandled by compromised judicial officers who regard it as their duty to protect errant Zanu PF officials rather than to discharge their duties professionally.
It is in this regard that Justice Kamocha must be commended for choosing to stand with the downtrodden by delivering a fair judgment and sending a signal that impunity cannot be perpetuated forever. In the same breath, we are surprised that Mohadi has not resigned in shame. However, Zanu PF ministers have shown that they have no shame in the way they continue to plunder this country’s resources at the expense of millions wallowing in poverty. In a normal society, Mohadi would have given up his government duties the day the judgement was delivered because the findings by the High Court raised serious questions about his suitability as a government minister.
Mohadi holds a very important ministry that should ensure law and order is upheld in the country, but his shenanigans in
Beitbridge will certainly not inspire confidence.