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Knight Frank (Zimbabwe) exposed

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  1. On 21 March 2021, Mr. Mutumwa Mawere wrote to Mr. John Makamure, the Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), who is also ZACC’s spokesperson detailing the facts and circumstances regarding his personal house located in Mount Pleasant, Harare, that was hijacked unlawfully by Gwaradzimba using SMM Holdings Private Limited (SMM), a company whose control and management was extrajudicially divested from its shareholders.
  • On 6 September 2004, the then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon Patrick Chinamasa (PC), issued a reconstruction order whose effect was to strip Mutumwa Mawere of the control and management of SMM’s affairs and replace him with an Administrator, Mr. Afaras Mtausi Gwaradzimba (AMG), his appointee.
  • In a thread of communication between Mr. Findi, who is heading the investigations into the facts and circumstances of Mawere’s house on behalf of ZACC, Mawere wrote as follows on 9 December 2021:

“It looks like there is no willingness on the part of Knight Frank Zimbabwe (KFZ) to look at the law and any plausible possible cause of action based on the existence of a contract between SMM and the tenant? What are the legal and constitutional consequences of this reality?

I never expected ZACC to be a bridge to corruption and injustice.

You guys are intentionally and knowingly giving me a ran around as if I am a small boy and more importantly as if I have no title to the house that was ambushed in a constitutional dispensation.”

  • Mr. Findi responded as follows: “Good afternoon. We value your contributions to the investigation and your views and suggestions will be taken on board as far as they strengthen our case.”
  • Mr. Mawere then asked: “Are you aware that since opening the case, I cannot take the baton from a party that is involved in my divestment like KFR?”
  • To which Mr. Findi responded as follows: “We hope our investigation will address some of these issues.”
  • Mr. Findi fails and refuses to disclose which issues the ZACC investigation was addressing in specific terms.
  • In a letter dated 24 December 2021, Professor Tichaona Mupasiri wrote as follows to Mr. Vambe, an employee of KFZ who has been dealing with the affairs of Mr. Mawere’s house:

24 December 2021

Dear Mr. Vambe,

1.My name is Tichaona Mupasiri, Director of Public Policy at the Friends of Shabanie and Mashava Mine (FOSMM)

  • I currently have an application that is pending before the Constitutional Court that seeks to hold the President accountable for the existence of the law that is not only draconian, but also repugnant to the rule of law.
  • I am approaching you in terms of s62(2) of the constitution which postulates that every person, including the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by any person, including the state, in so as the information is required for the exercise or protection of a right.
  • This is with regards to Mr. Mutumwa Mawere’s Mount Pleasant house number 6 Durland Close, which is under your management without his consent as the legal owner of the property.
  • The issue of the house and the circumstances that allowed an Administrator, a creature of statute, to hijack with impunity a private property in a constitutional democracy has raised alarm bells to compel me to establish the role of Knight Frank (KFR) in undermining the democratic and rule of law space.
  • I am interested to know when and how Knight Frank (KFR) knew about its being complicit in managing a stolen property and actions taken, if any, to rectify this gross anomaly.
  • I would appreciate if you could furnish me with the intimate details of the contract that your company has with the purported owner of the property in question; if possible the contact document or lease agreement.
  • I would also need to know the bank details to which the collected fund were remitted.
  • If I do not hear from you with regards to this matter, I will be compelled to approach a court of law for answers.
  • In relation to the discourse between Mr. Mawere and Mr. Findi referred to above, Mr. Mawere continued as follows: “Should we wait or justice be suspended?
  1. I am a bit lost. Would you recommend that I take back the house without knowing the basis of my cause – criminal or civil? If criminal, who should be the complainant in the first instance? If civil, what would be the legal basis of any claim?”
  1. Mr. Findi then responded as follows: “On civil remedies, I recommend you seek legal advice on how to go about it.”
  1. To which Mr. Mawere responded as follows: “I have already sought advice and the lawyers are advising that ZACC is a problem on a straightforward matter.

They are saying that in order to sue, there must exist a relationship between parties.

Either one is a debtor or creditor.

Lessor v Lessee

Landlord v Tenant

In this case, what was the nature of the relationship between the parties?

The alleged lease agreement is between SMM and the tenant who has possession.

Does a relationship exist between the house and SMM?

If not, what would be the basis of any valid contract relating to the property?

Nothing?

No legal causa.”

  1. Mr. Findi then asked: “So what does this imply?”
  1. Mr. Mawere responded as follows: “It implies that the ZACC investigation is fatally defective.”
  1. Mr. Findi then responded as follows: “Don’t you think the conclusion is premature when the investigation is still on and the file is being perused.”
  1. Mr. Mawere asked: “Do you agree that SMM had no title to deal in the affairs of the house?”
  1. To which Mr. Findi said: “Those are our findings.”
  1. Mr. Mawere then asked the following pertinent questions in this dispute: “Do you agree absent consent, theft, and unjust enrichment or prejudice follows?
  • Do you agree that the tenant was defrauded and KFR was an accessory to fraud?
  • I have not been furnished with the agreement between SMM and the tenant and SMM and KFZ.”

Mr. Brian Manyati, the Spokesperson for FOSMM said: “If anyone had any doubt on what absurdity the existence and operation of the Reconstruction Act creates, this issue of the house and the role of KFZ in undermining the rule of law is a classic case study.

It is significant that Gwaradzimba boldly asserted that he had no knowledge of the house affair yet KFZ was paying the rent collected from a tenant to the account of SMM.

Under what constitutional order would this state-enabled theft take place.

I am curious like all to know whether a company under reconstruction qualifies to open a bank account as a company when the Companies Act has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the affairs of all companies irrespective of their alleged indebtedness.

As members of FOSMM, we cannot allow this onslaught on the rule of law to go unpunished.

I am surprised that it has taken more than 9 months for ZACC to apprehend people.

This is a disturbing sign that the investigations may already have been hijacked.”

Experienced Chairman with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Strong entrepreneurship professional skilled in Negotiation, Budgeting, Business Planning, Operations Management, and Analytical Skills.

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