Prominent lawyer dupes widow, charged with theft of trust property
Prominent lawyer Norman Mugiya has been hauled to court facing theft of trust property charges after he allegedly received fees to pay the Sheriff for the execution of a US$21 000 award before he converted the money to his own use.
Mugiya appeared on summon before Harare magistrate Ntombizodwa Sibanda today and the matter was remanded to October 5 for trial.
The complainant is Nyarai Chinguruwe.
Early this year, Mugiya was arrested with fraud in another case involving Chiweshe, based Shereni Family mine inheritance dispute.
In this case the complainant alleges that sometime in January 2017 at around 0800 she visited Mugiya at his law firm at Kopje Rotten Row road, Harare and instructed him to recover her late husband’s backdated salary amounting to US$21 755 from Kingston Company where he was employed.
It is alleged that Mugiya Legal Practitioners compiled summons and managed to win the court order as it was ordered under High Court case number 7676-17.
In the months of September 2018, Mugiya Legal Practitioners asked her to pay fees for Execution against Kingstones P/ L and she paid $540 on July 24, 2018.
It is alleged that the legal practitioner at the law firm asked her if there was any other valuable property owned by Kingstones P/L ,and she told them that there was a building a shop in Kadoma and paid them $1650 Rtgs to cross check with deeds office.
It is alleged that one Zambuko of Mugiya Legal Practitioners told her that the Deputy Sheriff went to Kadoma and attached the building and advised her that auction date was on the 30 of August 2019 and after the stated auction date Zambuko told her that the auction was done and funds were send to deputy sheriff as such her account number which was needed for the funds to be transferred and she gave her POSB account number.
As the days passed without any money sent the complainant later went to the Deputy sheriff who told her that the process of sending funds was not yet finished.
It is alleged that a week later she proceeded to check at the Sheriff Office and only to be told that her file was misplaced and could not be located.
She was then told that she needed the police to investigate and find out where the amount paid on auction as per given order under HC 7576-17 by Honourable Justice Mangota in the sum of Twenty-one thousand seven hundred and fifty-five United States Dollars was advanced to.
The complainant later tasked a registered Private Investigator (Muvirimi) who did investigations and went to Kadoma. He got advised that notification for attachment of building was done but the Deputy Sheriff never came to attach the property.
Further investigations revealed that after the complainant visited the High Court she was told that she did not pay the required removal fees of US$540.
The state alleges that Mugiya unlawfully and intentionally collected payment amounting to US$540 from the complainant fees required for execution of property attached by Deputy sheriff and then failed to handover such funds to deputy sheriff on demand and he converted the money to own use.
Last year in September Mugiya was arrested for allegedly forging a will of a deceased person and money laundering.
“The ZRP confirms the arrest of lawyer, Norman Mugiya on September 26, 2022 for cases of fraud and money laundering in connection with the late Jonah Shereni’s estate,” police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said at the time.
Mugiya was then suspended by his partners after they wrote a letter addressed to the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ).