By Daniel Nemukuyu
The High Court has been asked to set aside a dubious judgment compelling Chitungwiza Municipality to pay $119 000 to a local company after it emerged that the ruling was handed down as a result of fraud.
High Court judge Justice Mary Dube last year heard a civil matter in which Scotia Private Limited was purportedly suing the local authority over failure to pay for jet machine supplied to it.
Unbeknown to the judge, people who appeared before her with the claim, had nothing to do with Scotia and had no instructions from the firm to sue the local authority.
The people involved only got information of the Scotia’s tender application before hijacking the project and decided to make money out of it.
Scotia, in actual fact, did not deliver the said machine to the local authority. However, the fraudsters connived to claim payment arguing that Scotia had already bought the machine in terms of the agreement.
The court was misled into believing that the people, including Mr Ernest Paul Mzenge Zhou, were the directors of Scotia before ordering Chitungwiza Municipality to pay $119 000 for the machine although the machine had not been delivered.
The matter came to light when the case was published in The Herald newspaper and Scotia managing director a Engineer J Manase instructed the company’s lawyers to write to the Registrar disassociating the firm from the court proceedings.
After thorough investigations by Mr Rodgers Matsikidze of Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners, it came to light that the people who instituted the proceedings were fake and that they presented bogus documents to fraudulently obtain the judgment.
The fraudsters even engaged Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono Legal Practitioners to represent them. On behalf of the municipality, Mr Matsikidze has filed an application to set aside the dubious High Court judgment. In the court application, council relied on the letter by Scotia which unearthed a fraud scam.
“The letter makes it clear that Scotia never litigated against the applicant. The judgment cannot stand. It is a complete subversion and was clearly afforded in error. It arises out of proceedings which are clearly invalid,” reads the application.
Council described the judgment as fraud.
“For the reasons that I set out above, the judgment is a clear fraud on the court as well as on the applicant.
“The court was made to believe that Scotia was litigating when it was not. It is clear fr4om the company documents that those who litigated have nothing to do with Scotia,” reads the application.
Mr Ernest Paul Mzenge Zhou, one of the fake litigants, filed his response to council’s application to have the judgment quashed, confirming that it was indeed fraudulent and it must be set aside.
“Before I respond to the founding affidavit, I want to categorically state that I am not opposed to the setting aside of the order or judgment granted by the Honourable Justice Dube.
“While the term bogus may not apply to me, I do not doubt that strangers hijacked the first respondent (Scotia), whether with connivance with someone from first respondent or not,” said Mr Zhou.