By Mashudu Netsianda
The trial of Njube-Lobengula MP Gift Banda, who is facing charges of forging signatures of a Bulawayo man resulting in him losing a residential stand worth US$60 000, has been set for March 3.
Banda, who is jointly charged with Mbonisi David Nkomazana (33) of Bard Real Estates, yesterday appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashaya facing forgery charges.
He was remanded to March 3 for commencement of trial.
Banda and Nkomazana allegedly forged Mr Nkululeko Ndlovu’s signature purporting that he had agreed to sell him his stand in Selbourne Brooke — an upmarket suburb in Bulawayo.
Mr Tashaya postponed the matter after Banda’s lawyers from Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers requested to engage an independent forensic expert.
The prosecutor, Mr George Rufumoyo, said sometime in February 2015, Ndlovu bought his stand and signed a memorandum of agreement of sale with Bulawayo Glass and Allied Products (Pvt) Ltd, represented by Sipho Mhlanga. The agreement was drafted by Bard Real Estates represented by Nkomazana.
The court heard that sometime in 2017, Banda allegedly approached Ndlovu and offered to buy the stand from him, promising to purchase a bigger stand for him in Paddonhurst.
Banda and Nkomazana also allegedly forged an agreement of sale for the stand between Banda and Bulawayo Glass and Allied Products.
The document was drafted by Nkomazana using the Bard Real Estates logo.
“Banda and Ndlovu settled their agreement verbally. Banda failed to keep his end of the bargain of securing another stand in Paddonhurst and instead offered to pay Ndlovu cash for his Selbourne Brooke stand. He again failed to settle the cash payment,” said Mr Rufumoyo.
On July 21, 2017, Ndlovu sent Banda a WhatsApp message informing him that he no longer wanted to sell his stand to him.
The court heard that despite the cancellation by Ndlovu, Banda went on to deposit $2 000 into Ndlovu’s Steward Bank account and proceeded to start construction at the stand.
“When Ndlovu realised that Banda was defiant, the complainant, through his lawyers, wrote a letter instructing the accused person to stop his construction but he did not comply. Ndlovu and his lawyers then made an application to the High Court declaring the sale null and void since it was against Bulawayo City Council’s regulations to sell an undeveloped stand,” said Mr Rufumoyo.
The court heard that Banda in turn tendered at the High Court a cessation agreement which was drafted by Nkomazana in his official capacity as a sales agent for Bard Real Estates. The cessation agreement purported that Ndlovu had ceded all interest and rights of the stand to Bulawayo Glass and Allied Products.
It is alleged that the document had Ndlovu’s forged signatures and also tendered at the High Court was an acknowledgement of payment which was drafted by Nkomazana in his capacity as a sales agent of the accused company.
A report was made to the police leading to the accused persons’ arrest. The Chronicle