Tuesday 23 April 2024


Transport tycoon Mr Leonard Mukumba allegedly lost US$147 000 after investing in a close friend’s business.

Mr Mukumba who runs a fleet of buses later found that  after his friend won a pair of tenders, he diverted the payments.

The trial of Peter Gondo (33) is being heard before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Feresi Chakanyuka. He asserted that Mr Mukumba pushed his way into the company through a small loan that had long been repaid.

Gondo, a churchmate of Mr Mukumba,, is accused of diverting the money paid by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for a security tender, without his business partner’s knowledge.

Mr Mukumba, only came to know after all the money was taken from their bank account, even though he was a signatory to their business account.

The prosecutor Mr Ephraim Zinyandu told the court that Mr Mukumba, Gondo and his wife Diana Chigonga in 2020 were directors of Petridia Security (Private) Ltd, company specialising in the provision of electronic security facilities.

The court heard that on January 11, 2022, the company entered into a contract with ZPC for installation and commission of a surveillance system at Hwange Power Station for a total price of US$55 000. A few months later, on April 26, 2022 the company entered into another contract with ZPC for installation and commissioning of a surveillance system at Hwange Power Station for a total price of US$92 960.

In March 2022 and July 2022 ZPC settled its accounts with Petridia for the two contracts, but Gondo lied to Mr Mukumba that ZPC did not make any payment.

Gondo went further and allegedly removed Mr Mukumba from the directorship of the company and from being a signatory of the its bank account without his consent and knowledge. The offence came to light when Mr Mukumba made a follow up and was told that ZPC had paid in full for the two contracts, a position that was also confirmed by the bank.

As a result, Mr Mukumba suffered a total prejudice of US$147 960.

In contrast, Gondo is denying the allegations, insisting that Mr Mukumba was trying to force himself into a company which he formed with his wife and they only borrowed US$5 000 from him to finance their business.

In his defence, Gondo alleges that the agreement was that he would cease being a director once they settled the debt and upon clearing it he removed Mr Mukumba from the directorship.

Mr Mukumba, who is still on the witness stand, told the court that he had no documentary evidence to support his case as he trusted his friend blindly.

Gondo’s lawyer Oliver Marwa produced a bank declaration which stated that the company was formed in 2017 with only Gondo and Chigonga as directors.

During cross examination Mr Mukumba said he was removed from the company illegally and insisted that he had 50 percent shares in the company, according to their oral agreement.

“I was supposed to get a 50 percent share from the profits of this contract. I was supposed to take my US$80 000 I invested into the business first then share profits.

“I trusted him. He would tell me the amount he needed each time then I would give him the money and hewould do all the paperwork.”

Mr Mukumba that all the documents produced by Gondo produced before the court were concocted as he was part of the company.

The trial is expected to continue tomorrow. Herald



Post a Comment