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Ex-minister in trouble over debt

By Tendai Kamhungira

A local bank has dragged former deputy minister of Mines and Mining Development Fred Moyo to court over a $700 000 debt owed to the financial institution.

Then Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Fred Moyo (left) addresses miners while then Mimosa Mining Company executive chairperson Winston Chitando listens at the Joint Suppliers and Producers’ Conference during Mine Entra at ZITF in Bulawayo

According to an application filed at the High Court, the bank is seeking an order directing the investigation and identification of Moyo’s properties to go under the hammer in order to expunge the debt.

In March 2015, the bank obtained a judgment against Moyo and three other parties for them to pay $760 986, 67.

The financial institution said it had to file the current application after the property it managed to attach was only valued at $7 767, 02.

The bank claims that as proceedings to attach the politician’s assets were underway, Moyo transferred his immovable property to his Trust called Nelundo Family Trust.

“Nelundo Family Trust now hold the property under Deed of Transfer number 1191/2015. It is not clear whether there was any value that was received by the respondent from Nelundo Family Trust. One certainly cannot dismiss the fact that such dispossession could have been a dispossession without value aimed at prejudicing creditors,” the court heard.

The application lodged before the court is therefore for the sequestration of Moyo’s estate in terms of the provisions of Section 12 as read with Section 11 of the Insolvency Act (the Act) principally on the basis that the former deputy minister has allegedly committed an act of insolvency on account of his failure to discharge his liability to the bank.

The bank said after the sale of the politician’s property, it engaged Moyo with a view to ensure that the he honours his obligation.

“Consequently, a decision was taken by the applicant to file this application. More particularly, after having considered the fact that the respondent in 2015 whilst the applicant’s proceedings against him which led to the judgment in casu were proceeding, the respondent transferred his immovable property to his Trust called Nelundo Family Trust,” reads part of the court papers.

The bank further demanded the sequestration of Moyo’s estate and that a Trustee be appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the dispossession and whether the former deputy minister has any other properties.

“The applicant also understands that the respondent has a significant interest in a mining company called Ox Mining (Private) Limited which is currently under judicial management. The company has been under judicial management for quite some time. It is important for a Trustee to be appointed to investigate the nature and extent of the respondent’s interest in the said company,” the bank argued.

According to court papers, when the Sheriff went to attach Moyo’s property, certain property which was part of the attachment list went missing and a police report was filed, which has however, not yielded any results. Moyo has challenged the application, claiming it is invalid.

“I deny that I have failed to pay my debts or that I am unable to pay them … I have more than enough assets to extinguish the judgment debt and accordingly submit that the application is without proper cause,” Moyo said, adding that the bank filed the application without exhausting all the enforcement mechanisms in terms of the High Court Rules.

He said the application ought to be dismissed with costs. DailyNews