ZIMBABWE National Chamber of Commerce national president and Mutare businessman Hlanganiso Matangaidze has taken his business partner, Patrick Kupenga, to court accusing him of stealing property worth $59 000.
Matangaidze, who is the director of Matan Holdings which runs various business enterprises in Manicaland, accused Kupenga of stealing timber processing equipment at Matan Lumber, which they jointly owned.
Charges against Kupenga are that on June 29 this year, he allegedly went to the company’s workshop in the company of his son Jeffy Kupenga and informed the security guards manning the workshop that he was taking away some machinery.
Part of the machinery included a ripsaw, multi-ripsaw, cutter moulder machinery, saw sharpener, stretch bench machinery, lift trolleys, cross-cut machinery, jack saw, two-finger jointer machinery, press machinery and a compressor among others.
They allegedly loaded the equipment onto a 30-tonne truck and drove off after breaking the main gate using a forklift.
Kupenga was arrested after investigations by the complainant led to the recovery of some of the stolen property worth $30 000.
Matangaidze said he had bought the equipment to boost production at their loss-making timber business.
Kupenga, who was represented by David Tandiri, denied the alleged theft charges saying the decision to move the property in question away was never meant to cause any prejudice to his business partner.
He, however, accused Matangaidze of unilaterally making decisions that were costing the company.
He said at one time, Matangaidze allowed former Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro to cart away roofing timber valued at $23 000 without paying for it.
However, Matangaidze disputed the claims saying Madiro got the timber on account and was yet to make payments.
The trial will continue on August 20 when two last witnesses are expected to testify.