Midlands: This is a long running, twisting and now accelerating story of how legitimate foreign investors in our backyard have been defrauded by prominent local “entrepreneurs” Peter Midgley and Kenias Sibanda – tarnishing Zimbabwe’s reputation as a preferred foreign direct investment destination.
Brand new fuel courts have sprung up like green shoots along both approaches to the expanding City of KweKwe. But why has the most sought-after existing fuel court on Main Street been derelict since 2012?
This investigative journalist took up the challenge and the reasons are shocking.Combing a web of legal actions and court records dating back to 2007, the story unfolds.
The premises, a former Redan branded property, is ideally situated on 51 Robert Mugabe Way, which is the first thing you see after the prominent roundabout entering Kwekwe from Gweru.
This site has all the makings of a “money spinner”- auto showroom, workshops, fuel court, external garages, a kiosk and a well-placed takeaway stand, being highly sought after within the commercial sector of Kwekwe.
The massive development opportunity is self-evident to all and sundry who pass by – and they are many.
Court papers reflect that former prominent and wealthy KweKwe resident Peter A Midgley (and his family members Olive, Roland and Janet) sold the property to a company identified as Gondwanaland (Pvt.) Ltd. in April of 2007.
However, in August 2012 the unknown, dormant and clearly insolvent Hopetech (Pvt.) Ltd. commenced an action in the High Court claiming it had purchased the company holding the Main Street Property (among other assets) from Midgley in November 2006 for US $1,000,000.
Despite having no assets, or any apparent means of wealth or support, Hopetech and its 2 directors averred that it had paid Midgley the equivalent of US$600,000.00 at the agreement date in RTGS to the value of Z$1,680,000,000,000.00 (1,68 Trillion Zimbabwe Dollars) with the remaining US$400,000.00 or Z$1,120,000,000,000.00 (1,12 trillion on Zimbabwe Dollars) to be paid in 4 quarterly instalments thereafter.
No proof has been submitted to the High Court in support of any of these payments to Mr. Midgley by Hopetech.
The erstwhile directors of Hopetech are two KweKwe residents. Mr. Simba Matake (‘’Mr. Matake’’) – House number N110 Torwood, Redcliff. b) Mr. Lazaruos Paradzayi (‘’Mr. Paradzayi’’) – 10/8 Mbizo, Kwekwe. Mr. Paradzayi is also registered as the Principal Officer of Hopetech.
It is understood that both have been called into CID to be cautioned.
This would appear to be a clear sign that criminal complaints are in imminent.Sibanda, who claims no link to Hopetech, Matake or Paradzayi, is widely known to have funded Hopetech’s enormous High Court legal bills and more recently the criminal defense recently mounted for its two directors.
The November 11, 2011 agreement where Midgley ceded all rights to Sibanda over the Gondwanaland agreement is one of many obvious “smoking guns”.
The obvious question must be asked: “Who is the ultimate beneficial owner of Hopetech?”.
Surely not of the two humble directors of simple means? The case screams the apt legal phrase “res ipsa loquitur” – the thing speaks for itself!
Source: Express Mail