A PROSPECTIVE British investor, Kenneth Vincent Grant Coker, was last week nabbed by immigration officials after he allegedly entered into a fraudulent marriage with a United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean woman to legalise his stay in the country.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Coker is alleged to have entered in a marriage of convenience with Marian Mandizvidza nee Katsande, who at the time of the solemnisation of the relationship was already legally married to him in the UK.
Both Coker and Katsande allegedly misrepresented as bachelor and spinster when they applied for a Zimbabwean marriage licence.
Following his arrest, Coker was taken to the Harare Magistrates’ Court on charges of fraud and perjury last week, but he did not appear in court after prosecution authorities asked the police to proceed against him by way of summons.
According to an affidavit from the principal immigration officer, Godfrey Kondo, which forms part of the court papers, on September 25 this year, the immigration department received information that Coker had fraudulently solemnised his marriage at Rotten Row Magistrates’ Court in 2012.
This he did, after registering his construction company under the name Advanced Property Developers alongside a Zimbabwean director Michael Besileni. The firm was issued with a Zimbabwe Investment Authority licence.
Coker is also said to have been appointed a director of Pendcald Enterprises, whose other directors were his purported wife Marian Mandizvidza and Masimba Mandizvidza in November 2011.
Coker’s investor permit, however, expired on May 23 this year but he never renewed it prompting further investigations by the immigration authorities into his operations.
“Applicant is a failed investor from the onset of the project.
The company does not have a bank account, but personal account for the applicant for bank of Scotland,” Kondo said.
However, when Coker was invited for an interview at the immigrations offices, he confirmed having contracted a fraudulent marriage with Marian.
In his affidavit Coker said: “All I can recall now is Miriam Mandizvidza nee Katsande and I were issued with a marriage certificate a copy of which is in the custody of Miss Mandizvidza in the UK.
“The relationship between myself and Miss Mandizvidza has come to an end I have instructed my legal practitioners to end the marriage be it by divorce or nullification.”
Sources at the immigration offices said Coker has since been issued with a temporal permit while investigations into his case continue.