HomeLocal NewsLawyers in court for duping sugarcane farmers

Lawyers in court for duping sugarcane farmers

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HARARE lawyer, Pardon Nhokwara appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court on Saturday charged with theft of trust property after he allegedly converted $57 000 trust funds for Masvingo sugarcane farmers to his own use.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Nhokwara was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate, Josephine Sande, who remanded him to October 11 on $200 bail.

Nhokwara was charged together with his accomplice, lawyer Fred Machokoto, who also appeared at the same court on Thursday last week.

According to the State, the complainants in the matter are cited as Patience Tsvakwi, Robert Makwanya, Tawanda Mungwari and Simbarashe Murerwa of Triangle Range Farm in Chiredzi.

The State alleges that sometime in 2013, the farmers engaged the two lawyers after they failed to receive their payment for sugarcane sold to Triangle Limited.

The State alleges the farmers won the case, but before they could execute the court order, they entered into an agreement with Triangle Limited in which they were paid $57 000 through Machokoto’s law firm’s bank account.

Instead, Machokoto and Nhokwara allegedly instructed the Sheriff to attach Triangle Limited’s property on the basis that the funds had not reflected in their account.

It is the State’s case that on April 5 last year, Nhokwara and Machokoto went to Triangle Limited in Chiredzi in the company of the Sheriff and were given $68 000 to stop executing the court order.

It is the State’s case that Nhokwara and Machokoto were supposed to return $57 000, but instead converted the money to their own use.

The matter came to light on July 6 this year when the farmers were served with a default judgment granted against them to repay Triangle Limited the misappropriated $57 000.

On July 12 this year, Triangle Limited recovered $51 784 from the farmers sugarcane sales in pursuit to a court order granted, leaving an outstanding balance of $27 218.

Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.

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