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Minister loses $1,6m to liquidator

By Thupeyo Muleya

A 58-year-old Bulawayo-based liquidator has been arrested for falsifying legal documents with the assistance of a Beitbridge Town Council employee that resulted in the Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi and a business partner, Josias John Moyo, losing property worth $1,6 million.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi

Barbra Lunga of Burnside, Bulawayo, who is employed by Impact Trust and Executors, is also accused of stealing $42 128,05 from Nerry Investments’ CBZ account.

Lunga pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and theft of trust property when she appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Miss Gloria Takundwa last Friday.

She was remanded to August 4 on $1 000 bail.

Nerry Investments was put under provisional liquidation in July 2012 at the height of a business wrangle involving Mohadi and one of the shareholders, Reginald McGillivray Dawson.

The prosecutor Mr Jabulani Mberesi told the court that soon after the company was put under provisional liquidation, Lunga went to Beitbridge Town Council where she connived with Simon Muleya, still at large, and fraudulently transferred ownership of Nerry Investments property, including stand number 1 418 and registered it under Red Queen Trading belonging to Dawson.

He said this was despite the absence of an order of the High Court authorising such an agreement.

The fraudulent transaction resulted in Minister Mohadi and his partner losing property worth $1,6 million.

The court further heard that on July 24 2012, while Nerry Investments was still under provisional liquidation, before confirmation of the provisional order and before Lunga was issued with a certificate of appointment by the High Court, she authorised the transfer of funds from the company’s account into an Impact Trust Executors bank account.

A total of $42 128,05 was transferred from Nerry Investments’ CBZ bank account to the accused’s bank, which Lunga later withdrew and converted to her own use.

Mr Mberesi said on August 30 2012, before the issuance of the certificate of appointment to Lunga by the High Court, she opened a Nerry Investments judicial management BancABC account, but she did not deposit the amount which she had transferred from their CBZ account.

He said Lunga was only issued with the certificate of appointment on December 20 and that she had no rights over the assets before getting the certificate.

The matter was discovered when the minister made a follow-up on operations at the company and reported the anomalies to police, leading to Lunga’s arrest. The Chronicle