May 3, 2024

Company director in US$2 million fraud storm

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Yeukai Karengezeka-Court Correspondent
Commerce Veritas chief executive Martin Tswarai Mutenda, who allegedly defrauded the son of the late minister and national hero, Joel Biggie Matiza, of US$2 million emanating from the estate, appeared in court yesterday.
Mutenda (55), whose company is involved in civil engineering, was remanded in custody on fraud charges, pending his bail application today before Harare regional magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei.
The complainant, aged 26, is the son of the late Cde Matiza and was appointed executor of the estate of his late mother, Lillian Matiza.
Prosecutor Ms Mercy Masamvi alleged that in June 2022, Mutenda who was already in the construction business, purported to enter into a construction business partnership with the late Mrs Matiza. In this agreement, Mutenda misrepresented to Mrs Matiza that herself, Jorome Leroy and Taurai Negonde, would become directors of the company and that he would be appointed to be the company secretary.
Mrs Matiza would be given a payment of US$2 million at the end of the construction project. In exchange for this, Mrs Matiza would provide a pneumatic roller, paver, a roller and office furniture, which she took from her company called Studio Arts (Pvt) Ltd.
Mrs Matiza died in November last year and her estate was registered with the Master of High Court, and the son was duly appointed as the executor of the estate.
In December last year, the complainant approached Mutenda asking him to transfer the money due to his mother to the Biggie Joel Trust, where the complainant and his other relatives are beneficiaries, but Mutenda refused.
Investigations revealed that Mutenda had misrepresented the structure of the company and payment of the US$2 million. As a result of his actions, the complainant suffered a total prejudice of approximately US$2 million and nothing was recovered.

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