Lawyer, ex-manager up for alleged extortion


A PROMINENT Masvingo lawyer Ruvengo Maboke and his client Shingirai Mvududu, a former manager at a gold mine, Slashwood Mining, are facing arrest for alleged extortion involving over $9 000.


Gavel-and-handcuffsMvududu was fired by the mining firm for allegedly stealing gold. Maboke of Ruvengo Maboke and Company Legal Practitioners and Mvududu are accused of attempting to register an already settled arbitral award with the court with the full knowledge that the money had already been paid out.

Masvingo provincial magistrate Jabulani Nyathi detected the anomaly when the matter came before him for deliberation last Thursday.

Mzinyathi pointed out to Mvududu’s lawyer that what they were doing was attempted extortion in terms of the law since the award had already been settled by another court order last year.

Slashwood management then filed a report of extortion against Maboke and Mvududu at Masvingo Central Police Station.

Maboke and Mvududu could be jailed for a year accompanied by a fine of $2 000 if convicted of contravening section 124 (1) of the Labour Act (filing multiple proceedings).

The offence attracts a fine of $2 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year. Mvududu was last month acquitted and discharged by Masvingo magistrate Oliver Mudzongachiso of three counts of theft of gold river sand from his former employers.

He had been accused of stealing 24,72 grammes of fine gold worth $1 200.

However, the way the case was handled raised a lot of questions.

In 2013, Mvududu took Slashwood Mining to a labour officer, a Miss P Mupunga, after he was sacked for the alleged gold theft and was paid $7 272 by consent as benefits. The company’s property was attached by the Messenger of Court to foot his package.

Mupunga also ordered the company to regularise a disciplinary hearing after reinstating him without loss of pay which was done in November 2013.

A tribunal was then set comprising a panel of Great Zimbabwe University officials which recommended sacking him with benefits.

After his sacking, Mvududu, who had been paid an earlier package and Maboke, allegedly connived and agreed to extort the company.

They allegedly tried to register the already paid arbitral award this time with a new figure of $9 090. The matter was set down for hearing on April 24 and Slashwood management opposed the matter.

It was during the deliberations that Mzilethi discovered the anomaly. He then pressed Maboke to give answers. However, having realised that they had been exposed, Maboke insisted that the matter be struck off the roll.