MUTARE — Harare businessperson Energy Mutodi, who has of late walked in troubled waters on the legal and business fronts, had his earthmoving equipment and building material attached by the Deputy Sheriff last Friday over a $70 000 debt.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The debt arose after Mutodi’s company, Zim Trust Housing Finance which also trades as National Housing Development Trust, allegedly received money to develop housing units for Mupamombe Housing Project in Kadoma, but failed to develop the project within the agreed period.
Mutodi confirmed the property seizure yesterday, but said he was going to challenge it in court arguing that as far as he was concerned, he had done more work than what he was paid to do. He added that some of the attached equipment belonged to Dube Holdings which he had hired to develop Gimboki South housing scheme in Mutare.
“The grader they attached does not belong to me. We hired it from Dube Holdings. We don’t own it. It’s a mistake to attach it. Those people (Mupamombe Housing Trust) are our members and they got a default judgment against us, but we are now challenging it,” Mutodi said.
“I have actually done a lot of work for them than they paid me. People should not just run to court. They must give me time to complete the projects.”
He also appealed to beneficiaries of his housing schemes throughout the country not to be swayed by the negative publicity he has been receiving over the past weeks.
However, Mupamombe Housing Project’s lawyer Stephen Murambasvina maintained that Mutodi‘s firm had breached the terms of the contract.
“I instructed the deputy sheriff to attach property over a $70 000 debt. Zim Trust Housing Finance were contracted to develop the property, but failed to do so,” said Murambasvina.
“Members of the Mupamombe Housing Trust had their money garnished through the Salary Services Bureau, but there was no development. The contract was then cancelled and we sought to attach the property to recover our clients’ money.”
Last week, Mutodi lost another housing deal in Masvingo after the owner of the land on which he had earmarked to develop 2 000 residential stands reclaimed his property accusing the rhumba crooner of breaching terms of the agreement.
Both Mutodi and the landowner, Charles Banga, confirmed the development in separate interviews with NewsDay on Monday.
In Harare, Mutodi is facing a fraud charge involving more than $6 million after allegedly fleecing unsuspecting homeseekers through his trust, while in Mutare, he is accused of defrauding desperate homeseekers of close to $2 million in a similar scam. He is currently out of custody on $2 000 bail after spending nearly a month in Mutare Remand Prison.