RENOWNED sculptor, Dominic Benhura has taken Mines deputy minister Fred Moyo and his wife, Yeyani, to the High Court accusing the couple of swindling him of over $1 million in a botched mining business deal.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Benhura issued summons against Moyo and his wife, Paul Diamond and Gold Recovery Group (Pvt) Ltd, in July this year and they have entered their appearance to defend notices on September 27.
In his declaration, Benhura said sometime in October 2012, Moyo and his wife approached and requested him to partner them in a mining business called Tambanashe Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, claiming they, together with their business partners, had signed all liability guarantees for a revolving credit loan and lease hire facilities, granted by ZB Bank to Tambanashe Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd trading as Lennox Mine.
Benhura said according to the deputy minister, other directors — Passion Chifamba, Edgar Ndlovu, Bongani Ndlukula, Nathaniel Siwela and Catriona Stone — had all signed liability guarantees for a revolving credit loan and lease hire facilities.
“Following this representation, the plaintiff ([Benhura] signed all liability guarantees in favour of ZB Bank for Tambanashe Enterprises. At the time of signature of the guarantee, the first defendant [Moyo] knew that the representation was false in that only the second, third and fourth defendants [Yeyani, Diamond and Gold Recovery Group (Pvt) Ltd] had signed respective all liability guarantees in favour of ZB Bank for Tambanashe Enterprises,” he said.
“As a result of the first defendant’s misrepresentation, the plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of $635 985 and R1 536 448, being the loss of contribution to the satisfaction of the ZB Bank’s judgment under case number HC1856/14 occasioned by the absence of five other co-debtors from which the plaintiff would have [gotten] contribution or to be absolved by.”
Benhura said Moyo and his wife and Diamond, own controlling stakes in Tambanashe Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, OX Mining Ltd and Gold Recovery Group (Pvt) Ltd.
The sculptor further accused the deputy minister of fraudulently accepting and signing summons on his behalf, which were issued by ZB Bank seeking to recover its money.
Benhura said sometime in March 2014, Moyo and his wife “falsely represented” to Mlotshwa and Company Legal Practitioners that he [Benhura] had been served or was aware of the summons issued against him by ZB Bank and caused the lawyers to issue an appearance to defend purportedly on his behalf.
“ZB Bank subsequently served a notice to plead with the intention to bar Mlotshwa and Company Legal Practitioners, who failed to file any plea, as they did not have plaintiff’s instructions, leading to a default judgment being entered against the plaintiff,” he said.
“The first and second defendants knew that the plaintiff did not have knowledge of the summons and through their fraudulent misrepresentation, made it impossible for him to put up any defence to the claim, thereby, causing the plaintiff damages amounting to $1 023 815.”
Benhura said between August 12 and May 2015, the deputy minister and his co-defendants abused the $776 486 accessed from ZB Bank under the facility.
He said the alleged abuse of funds made it impossible for the principal debtor, Tambanashe Enterprises, to meet its obligations in general and for loans by ZB Bank, thereby, exposing him to losses.
“The first and second defendants removed and sold various equipment belonging to Tambanashe Enterprises valued at $467 000. Had the first and second defendants not dissipated the principal debtor’s assets, the degree of exposure to the plaintiff, as the surety, would have been reduced by the value of the property or the plaintiff would have been absolved by Tambanashe Enterprises in the sum of $467 000,” he said.
The matter is pending in court.