Friday 11 March 2022


Groups of people are scrambling for the multi-million-dollar estate left behind by a descendant of former colonialist Cecil John Rhodes amid reports that the Registrar of Companies has so far nullified a number of fraudulent CR14 forms filed by opportunists seeking to grab the companies.

This comes at a time when syndicates that identify idle properties left behind by deceased businesspeople of foreign origin and seek to fraudulently inherit them using forged documents are on the prowl.

Brian James Rhodes,who jointly owned Karoi Properties Pvt Ltd and Beverly East Properties with his wife Elizabeth, died in 2006 at the age of 75.

The companies own vast land in Harare’s Msasa area, along Mutare Road with structures.

They own stand numbers 184, 186, 188, 194 and 196 Mutare Road, an area that is dominated by car sales.

The elderly widow has since left for England, while five children are believed to be scattered across the world.

Mrs Rhodes has cried foul over attempts by some individuals to take over the companies and properties saying in the past 16 years, she never got a cent from the estate that rakes in up to US$21 000 in monthly rentals.

The property is in excess of four hectares and it is between the Management Training Bureau, Msasa, and the roundabout near Pick n Pay supermarket (popularly known as the Jaggers area).

Reputable companies are tenants on the land and they are paying rent to agents of the companies, although the ownership wrangle is still to be resolved.

Some have started resisting to pay rent, sparking disputes that have since spilled into the courts.

The unavailability of the Rhodes family members has seen different camps of Zimbabweans jostling to get a share from the estate.

A number of fraudulent CR14 forms have been filed at the Companies’ Registry by people who appointed themselves shareholders in Karoi Properties and Beverly East Properties with a view to grabbing the assets.

In some of the cases, former employees of the deceased and real estate companies tasked with management of the assets may take advantage of their proximity to the family and illegally take over the properties.

For close to two decades, different camps, including top police officers, have been fingered in fraudulent attempts to grab the company.

According to the deceased estate file DR 1426/10, Rhodes’ widow Elizabeth is believed to be in the United Kingdom, while his son Sean is believed to be in South Africa.

His daughters — Sharna Farquart and Larna Cruger — are believed to be in Australia, while the third daughter Bernice Kilburn is said to be in Zambia.

However, it remains unclear whether all the potential beneficiaries are still alive, considering the long drawn battle for control of their father’s assets.

Investigations by The Herald revealed that former top police officer Retired Commissioner Oliver Chibage and Retired Chief Superintendant Joel Tenderere were among those who filed fraudulent CR14 forms appointing themselves directors of the companies owned by Mr Rhodes.

The CR14 Form in question, has since been cancelled after Justice Joseph Musakwa ruled that Chibage, Tenderere and five others had imposed themselves as directors of Karoi Properties and Beverly East Properties in violation of the law.

Chibage and Tenderere were appointed directors together with former employees of the Rhodes family, Gideon Hwemende, Valentine Mushore, Alfred Chademana, Farai Mutizwa, and Calistor Vengesai.

In a court order dated 24 May 2016,  Justice Musakwa nullified the seven’s directorship to the two companies.

“The appointment as directors of the first to seventh defendants in Beverly East Properties Pvt Ltd and Karoi Properties Pvt Ltd is illegal and the CR14 forms and all other statutory documents issued by 9th defendant (Registrar of Companies) confirming such appointments are null and void.

“The 9th defendant shall forthwith do all such things as are necessary to give effect to paragraph 1 above . . . ”

A check with the Companies Registry shows that a number of fraudulent CR14 forms were cancelled by the Registrar of Companies in compliance with the court order.

A copy of that order was placed in both company files as caveat to future transactions.

The Registrar of Companies also cancelled, with a red pen, another CR14 form filed by IE Vermaak dated July 5, 2012 where a set of five other people was appointed directors of Beverly Properties.

The five are: Lourence Erasmus Vermaak, Roselyn Sarudzai Hwemende, Munyaradzi Hwemende, Omega Sipani Hungwe and Terence Cobden Rhodes. Herald


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