US$600k fraud resumes

The three suspects and their lawyer arrive at Harare Magistrates’ Court

Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter

The High Court has ordered that the fraud trial involving Tobacco Sales and Services Company top officials and Tobacco Sales Limited resumes.

This follows a successful appeal by the Statet against the application for discharge that had been granted by the presiding magistrate.

The trio of Washington Matsaire (58), former chief executive officer Richard Musvaire (54) and finance director Peter Mujaya (52), appeared before Harare magistrate Sandra Mpindu yesterday but trial failed to continue in the defence case as one of their lawyers was not available.

The three are facing charges of selling a farm for US$600 000 which they knew had been gazetted by the Government for acquisition under the land reform programme and the complainant in the matter being the director of an investment company called Zazu (Private) Limited, Mr Mahomed Ibahim Yakub.


The trial commenced in 2014 and the state led evidence from, former Mazowe South legislator Cde Margaret Zinyemba who was allocated the farm by the Government, said she had since appealed against being evicted from the farm, Lot 1 of Lot 1 Manyewe Estates, at the Constitutional Court.

Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged that in August 2011 Yakub engaged TSL who were selling their flower growing business in Concession, Mazowe.

Yakub was told that TSL had a subsidiary company called Laxorflor Roses located in Concession which was selling 50 percent of its shares, the court heard.

Yakub was also told by Musvaire that they were leasing farm Lot 1 of Lot 1 Manyewe Estates, Concession in Mazowe were the flower business was being carried out for US$600 000 and US$200 000 of the money was to be paid directly to TSL.

The farm measured 4 646 899 hectares and when the lease agreement was concluded, Yakub was to occupy the land for a period of 23 years from November 1, 2011 to October 31, 2036.

On October 17, 2011, Yakub was called by Musvaire informing him that the lease of the farm and the flower business purchase was ready.

It is alleged that Yakub paid the US$600 000 after receiving books and records.

Sometime in February 2012, he was approached by Zinyemba who stated that the land belonged to her.

The court heard that Zinyemba successfully evicted Yakub on the strength of her offer letter.

The three were ordered to put their house in order and prepare their defence as ordered by the High Court.


Trial resumes on March 12.