HARARE lawyer Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga is currently on the run after allegedly defrauding a Matebeleland farmer of his US$400 000 in a botched investments deal.
Henry Duedeny Simmons lost the money after he tried to invest in a local company, KeNako Enterprises.
Barbra Chenaimoyo Mutambanengwe who is a shareholder at KeNako Enterprises has since been arrested and was supposed to appear in court today but was released at the instigation of the National Prosecuting Authority on the grounds that she will be summoned to court after investigations are complete.
According to the police investigations, Nzarayapenga of Dube-Banda Nzarayapenga & Partners had a professional relationship with Simmons since 2005 and he allegedly established that Simmons had several properties and considerable wealth.
It is alleged Nzarayapenga hatched a plan to defraud the complainant and sometime in 2015 acting in connivance with his accomplice Mutambanengwe defrauded Simmons of US$400 000.
According to the court papers Nzarayapenga and Mutambanengwe came up with a non-existent investment idea and presented it to Simmons. They allegedly misrepresented to Simmons that they had a business proposal wherein they could facilitate for him to invest US$400 000 in a company called Ke Nako Investments (Pvt) Ltd yet on record the two accused persons were well aware that they were shareholders of the shelf company in 2015 without any assets.
It is alleged Mutambanengwe had already had 75% shareholding while Nzarayapenga had 25% shares.
The complainant Simmons acting upon misrepresentation made by the two accused persons he deposited US$335 000 into Dube-Banda Nzarayapenga Law Firm HBC Trust Account number 1027521510151 which was supplied to him by Nzarayapenga and paid the remaining US$65 000 cash to the accused persons.
The two accused persons acting in connivance came up with a loan agreement which was never signed by the complainant. The loan agreement was signed by Nzarayapenga purporting to represent Simmons and Nzarayapenga.
The duo also indicated that they will change the paper work to give Simmons 70% shareholding.
The company Ke Nako Investments (Pvt) Ltd started operating but complainant Simmons noted that there was no accountability on how the money he had invested was used for and he tried to call for an Annual General Meeting on several occasions to assert his rights but to no avail.
The complainant engaged the accused persons but they failed to issue him with any proof of shareholding or to acknowledge him as a shareholder.
Sometime in May 2020, Simmons reported the case to the police and after that the accused persons issued him with a document dated 30 September 2015 which they claimed was a share certificate in respect of his purported 70% shareholding.
Allegations are that Mutambanengwe sent an email dated 18 June 2020 to Nzarayapenga instructing him to issue the share certificate to Simmons.
This led to Simmons withdrawing the case before any arrest was made with the belief that he would now have access to and control of the company as the majority shareholder.
A deed of settlement was signed between complainant and the accused persons but complainant later realised that he had been given a document that was not actionable after the accused persons continued to refuse him access to the company.
Simmons continued trying to engage the accused persons to call for Annual General Meetings so that they would resolve the accountability issues but with no joy and he approached the High Court seeking an order compelling the accused to call for an Annual General Meeting.
In their response to the High Court application, the accused persons indicated that the complainant Martin Henry Deudeny Simmons was not a member in the company Ke Nako Investments (Pvt) Lid and this led Simmons to realise that he had been duped to invest US$400 000 in order to get 70% shares in the company and he made the report at ZRP Harare Central.
The case was later transferred to ZRP Commercial Crime Unit where it is being investigated.
According to the court documents the deposited money was used for unknown purposes which were not authorised by the complainant.
The accused persons failed to account for the total of US$400 000 paid by Simmons.
- The Herald