PROPRIETOR of Pioneer Transport Company, Simon Wilburn Rudland, yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court charged with $2, 3 million fraud after he allegedly transferred his business partner’s property into his empire using forged documents.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Rudland (43) was not asked to plead when he appeared before regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa on summons and was remanded out of custody to September 25 for trial.
According to the court papers forming part of the court record, Rudland is a representative of a firm called Ramsway Investment which entered into an acknowledgement of debt with the complainant Future Chirango Muvirimi.
Muvirimi and his wife, Petronella, are directors of Leonfer Investment, Deepstar Investment and Downtown Petroleum and also own Lot 1 of Stand 21 Oval Park Township.
Allegations against Rudland are that sometime in November 2009, he was approached by Muvirimi, who asked for a $1 million loan which was supposed to be a revolving facility.
The court heard in order to secure his cash, Rudland asked Muvirimi to sign an acknowledgement of debt wherein the latter surrendered, as security, four of his immovable properties which he jointly owns with his wife.
One of the conditions of the agreement of the debt was that Rudland would sell one or all of the properties in the event that Muvirimi defaulted payment. The agreed terms were that Rudland would do so after notifying Muvirimi and the two agreeing on the prices of the properties.
On December 9 2009, it is alleged, Rudland disbursed R300 000 to Muvirimi and then spread the other payments up to January 5 2010 and the amount totalled R5 600 000 which was equivalent to $700 000 at the time.
The court heard that between December 2009 and January 2010, Muvirimi made four deliveries of 40 000 litres of diesel each to Rudland in fulfilment of the agreement.
However, at some point Muvirimi faced difficulties in his business, leading to his defaulting on the agreement.
In December 2010, Rudland allegedly generated company resolutions and powers of attorney purportedly authorising him to effect transfer of the four properties and again forged the signature of Muvirimi’s wife on the documents.
He then allegedly drew some agreements of sale on Muvirimi’s behalf and, armed with the said documents, proceeded to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority where he attended an interview as Muvirimi’s representative and the buying companies were represented by Tendekai Hove, an administration manager in his firms.
The State alleges, Rudland then applied for a capital gains certificate which he used to effect transfer of Muvirimi’s properties through a legal practitioner, Mark Richard David Stonier, leading to his arrest.