HomeNewsFirm applies for discharge in land saga

Firm applies for discharge in land saga

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TOBACCO Sales Limited Company (TSLC), which is appearing in court on allegations of fraudulently selling State land in Mazowe resulting in a local businessman losing over $600 000 in a fumbled land deal, has applied for discharge at the close of the state case.

SENIOR COURT REPORTER

The firm is represented by its chief executive officer Washington Matsaire, who is charged alongside the firm’s managing director Richard Musvaire and finance director Peter Mujaya.

TSLC is accused of swindling Mohamed Ibrahim Yaqub, a Harare businessman who is the director of ZAZU (Pvt) limited, an investment firm.

According to the State papers, the three accused persons allegedly hatched a plan sometime in 2011 and duped Yaqub by selling 50% shares of a firm called Luxaflor Roses and leased a plot on Lot 1 Manyewe Estate in Mazowe for $600 000, well knowing that the land had been compulsorily acquired by the government in 2002.

Through their lawyers Kantor and Immerman, Musvaire and Mujaya argued they had been erroneously charged in their personal capacities in respect of actions that occurred during the course and scope of their employment.

They further argued that the genesis of the charge was a commercial transaction between TSLC and ZAZU and as such there was no crime committed by the two men.

They also accused Yaqub of having a personal vendetta against them which they said led to the charges against them.

However, in response to the application for discharge, prosecutor Michael Reza urged the court to dismiss the application arguing the accused persons had a case to answer. Reza said evidence was led from the district lands officer for Mazowe, Richard Harinangoni, to the effect that TSLC sold land to Yaqub well knowing it had been acquired and gazetted by government in 2002.

Reza further said the TSLC officials also knew that their former land had been allocated to one Margret Zinyemba.

“Of note in his evidence (Harinangoni) was his testimony that in 2008 accused one, Musvaire, approached the Mazowe Lands Committee and he said they (were indigenous Zimbabweans and wanted to be allowed to continue doing operations at the farm,” Reza said.

“The witness testified that they referred accused one to the provincial lands committee but he never came back.”

Reza went on to say Musvaire was TSLC’s director at the time the farm was acquired by government and as such he was expected to be in the know of the developments.

The State alleges during the period in question, Yaqub heard of the sale of the land and became interested after which he approached Musvaire for negotiations.

However, after making all the payments, Yaqub was surprised in February 2012 when he was approached by Zinyemba who had an offer letter from the Lands ministry claiming she was the rightful owner of the gazetted land.

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