Tuesday 21 May 2024


A group of victims of an alleged Ponzi scheme, which was being run by a former honorary diplomat from Asia and African Businesswomen Association (ABWA) CEO, Shamiso Fred, have applied for leave to institute a class action in terms of Section 3 of the Class Actions Act [Chapter 8:17] against her and her business to recover millions worth of investments. The matter will be heard at the High Court tomorrow (Wednesday).

Fred is alleged to have milked the unsuspecting victims through a Ponzi scheme disguised as a collective investment focusing on egg production and dairy farming investment schemes. The most affected are people in the diaspora, particularly those based in the United Kingdom, who invested amounts ranging from $2,000 to $60,000.

The five—Blaman Sekete, Grace Pumhu, Vimbainashe Mahwiridi, Dr. Ayanda Chakawa, and Felix Witness Mambondiani—who are being represented by Jacob Mutevedzi of Clairwood Chambers, have made the application, which is going to be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, after a breach of numerous Joint Venture Agreements between Fred and various investors across the globe. If the leave is granted, Mutevedzi is going to represent over 330 victims.

It is alleged that on different occasions, Fred entered into multiple contracts with various persons at an agreed capital contribution for business projects, which were to run for periods ranging from 22 months to 48 months. In return, the investors were each entitled to an agreed monthly profit share.

Part of the application reads: “This is a perfect case for the Court to grant leave to institute a class action so that justice for this class of investors can be achieved in one fell swoop as opposed to a crowd of plaintiffs seeking similar relief by way of separate actions. Efficiency is the major attraction, and nothing is more beneficial to the smooth administration of justice.

“Therefore, there is clear commonality of issues, which makes it convenient to proceed by way of a class action. The questions of fact or law to be answered in resolving this dispute are more or less the same.”

According to the application, if the present motion is granted, the applicants intend to issue notice to other potential claimants through publication in Zimbabwean newspapers and announcements on radio and television on three different dates.

In November last year, Fred appeared before Harare regional magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa facing fraud charges and was granted US$500 bail. She was ordered to surrender her passport and to report once a fortnight at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Commercial Crime Division (CCD).

However, Fred’s recent actions have squeezed life out of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to lure foreign investors with his “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra, and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s appeal to the diaspora population and foreigners to invest in Zimbabwe. The diaspora has lost confidence and is now skeptical that its investments will pay off. The government held a Zimbabwe Investment Summit last week in South Africa to positively sell the country to the world. Masvingo Mirror


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