PROMINENT businessman and corporate executive Shongwe Michael Ndoro who had filed a fraud and money laundering charge on a former co-director saw the trial kickstart on Tuesday.
Precious Star Ndoro is the co-director of Interfruit (Pvt) Limited and also the accused in the case that appeared before the Harare Magistrate Taurai Manuwere who is presiding over the fraud case.
The trial started with certain changes being made in front of the court as the state prosecutor notified the court of amendments to be made to the charge sheet.
“We would like to remove the 631 counts to remain as one. The money laundering is written 632, may it read count two,” said the state prosecutor.
The Independent managed to ask Ndoro a few questions before the commencement of the trial.
“I'm the managing director of Interfruit Pvt Ltd where the fraud was actually committed and also the complainant in the case. I had asked for a disbursement account from the accused over a couple of years but she completely refused to comply, therefore I felt no other option but to impose charges of theft or trust property as well as money laundering.
“Interfruit and its shareholders were prejudiced as the records show close to US$2,3 million. That is the money that she transferred from the company account into her account, when we analysed the accounts we saw that none of the transactions made was used for normal costs of businesses. It was used for her gratification,” Ndoro said.
“I also want to emphasise that this is entirely a business transaction and no vindictiveness on my part. I am only seeking to recover assets that belong to my family trust as I'm the donor and founder, beneficiary of that trust. This matter was reported in April 2019 and we had to complete the forensic audit for us to proceed as this matter has been in the court criminal records from that time,” he added.
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During the start of the trial, Ndoro was then called on to the witness stand for cross-examination by the state prosecutor.
“She stole working capital money from the trust between 2014 and December 2018 through unsanctioned transactions from the company account as the money had to pay creditors and directors. Our wages in the company were not much to justify the drawings of that kind of amount.
“Some records of her transactions were misplaced and we didn’t see them. It only came to my notice in November 2018 when preparing for the rainy season that I went to the bank only to find that large sums of money had been transferred into her account ”, Ndoro said.
The accused's lawyer went on to tell the court that his client denied receiving any trust funds from the complainant.
“She used to take charge of the farm while Ndoro took care of the business and he handled several transactions hence the reason why he didn’t put up complaints,” the accused’s lawyer said.
Cross-examination by the accused’s lawyer was then postponed to February 10 2023, due to inadequate time to proceed.