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Croco Motors Stake Bid Backfires - Zimbabwe Today
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Croco Motors Stake Bid Backfires


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HARARE businessman Farai Matsika’s attempt to wrestle a 30 percent stake in Croco Holdings, a company owned by his cousin Mr Moses Chingwena, hit a brick wall after the High Court ruled that he used fabricated documents in his claim.

Matsika and his Fairgold Investment were seeking a forensic audit and valuation of the company plus payment of full value of the 30 percent shareholding.

But after a fully contested civil trial, Justice Owen Tagu disallowed Matsika’s claim, finding that his version was not only improbable, but false.

Justice Tagu had no sympathy for Matsika, whom he said brought his application premised on falsehoods.

The court, he said, could not be seen to condone, let alone allow him to willy nilly abuse court process.

“In this case, the entire application was anchored on dishonesty,” said Justice Tagu. “The applicants sought to seek relief from this court by fabricating documents, a fabrication as amateurish as it is disrespectful.

“But then, there was method in all this madness because even the founding and answering affidavits lacked nothing in wounded pride and dignity, but contained nothing of substance.”

For his conduct, Justice Tagu said there should be consequences to Matsika’s pocket, hence ordered him to pay the costs of suit on an attorney and client scale.

Matsika’s entire case was based on documents which he elected not to explain or provide originals.

He was content during the hearing to insist on reliance on copies, even though the copies had been challenged by Chingwena’s lawyer.

His reluctance to furnish the court with original documents meant that the documents remained questionable, and the copies were not sufficient to eliminate the allegation of fraud, Justice Tagu said.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Mr Wilson Manase, Chingwena denied that Matsika held shares in Croco Holdings.

He proved the documents that Matsika relied on in his claim were fraudulent given the fact that he placed the value of the share capital in US dollars, the currency which was only introduced in 2009, three years down from May 2006, the date of the alleged shareholders’ agreement.

Chingwena also proved that Matsika lied when he sought to argue that Baker Tilly Gwatidzo Chartered Accountants handled the transfer of shares, yet the firm did not exist in 2006 as it was only set up in 2012.

The feud between Matsika and Chingwena started in early 2015 after Matsika opted to exit Croco Holdings, saying he felt crowded in decision-making by new senior executives hired by Chingwena.

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