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Ex-Kingstons boss off the hook

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FORMER Kingstons Holdings boss Brian Sedze was yesterday temporarily let off the hook by the High Court after it ordered that his fraud trial at the Harare Magistrates’ Court be stopped pending a review of the court proceedings.

CHARLES LAITON
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Sedze, who is being represented by Harare lawyer Sharon Hofisi, approached the High Court seeking a review of the magistrates’ court’s proceedings arguing the procedure adopted by regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa during the trial was irregular.

Sedze is facing 35 counts of fraud.

In the application, Sedze cited the Prosecutor-General (PG)’s Office and Kachambwa as respondents.

High Court judge Justice Maria Zimba-Dube granted the order, which apparently went unopposed by the State.

“That respondents be and are hereby ordered not to continue with the trial of the applicant under case number R1103/13 pending the outcome of the review. That service of this provisional order shall be effected upon respondents by the Sheriff of Zimbabwe/by the applicant’s legal practitioner,” the judge ruled.

Sedze had raised the issues after Kachambwa allowed prosecutor Michael Reza to call another witness to give testimony in the continuing matter before making a ruling on Sedze’s application for discharge.

At some point during trial, the former Kingstons boss also made an application seeking to force both Kachambwa and Reza to recuse themselves from the matter citing “procedural irregularities”.

But his application was dismissed by Kachambwa, who ruled that the application was “malicious and had a sinister motive”.

The fraud charges against Sedze arose after he allegedly pocketed cash which was owed to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

It is alleged Sedze misrepresented to Kingstons officials that he had secured a financier called Rachet Investments, willing to lend the company $31 000 to service the NSSA debt.

Sedze then allegedly submitted two different contrived electronic transfer copies with a combined figure of $48 000 purporting to be Rachet Investments’
payments to NSSA. In the end, Sedze allegedly claimed $25 362 from Kingstons claiming the cash would go towards legal fees and interest charged on the loan advanced by the purported financiers. The State alleges that he converted the money to his own use, a charge the ex-Kingstons boss has denied.

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