War vets accuse manager of stealing Z$15,3m

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ZIMBABWE Ex-Combatants (Zexcom) Foundation Investment Fund members have dragged the company’s judicial manager Barbra Lunga to court accusing her of stealing over Z$15,3 million.

BY SILAS NKALA

Lunga (50) was expected to appear before Bulawayo regional magistrate Crispen Mberewere yesterday, but the trial was postponed to May 8 after her lawyer  Kucaca Phulu apologised in court that she was unable to reach the third floor where the regional court is located as she was on a wheelchair.

Phulu said the lift at the building could only go as far as the second floor.

Lunga is the managing director of Impact Trust Executors, which was in 2001 mandated to manage Zexcom businesses after the company was placed under judicial management following serious fights among members.

The complainant in the matter is Zexcom Foundation Investment Fund (Pvt) Ltd represented by Patrick Ndlovu, who is the company secretary.

The State alleges that during the course of her duties, Lunga disposed of the company assets without authority of the Master of the High Court as required by the Companies Act Chapter 24:03. Most of the assets were allegedly sold clandestinely.

Lunga, in the company of one late Mukarati and Mboko allegedly approached Prompt Bureau de Change owned by Zexcom and collected Z$644, which she later converted to her own use.

In 2001, Lunga is alleged to have assigned Jokonia Ndlovu, Patrick Ndlovu and Njabulo Dube to go to Nkayi on Zexcom Foundation’s business. She allegedly gave them her personal vehicle, a Toyota Cressida, to use to travel to Nkayi.

The three were attacked by war veterans who were not happy about the way Zexcom Funds were being managed.

It is the State case that the three sped away, but when they reached Ngwigwisi River, another group of war veterans who had laid an ambush shot at them with a .303 rifle resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle and veering off the road. The vehicle was extensively damaged and the crew sustained serious injuries.

Lunga demanded compensation of Z$1,8 million from Zexcom and at the same time demanded the same amount from Jupiter Insurance Company where her vehicle was insured.

Lunga, it is alleged, had no right to demand compensation from Zexcom and that resulted in Zexcom suffering a prejudice of Z$1,8 million. In 2001, Lunga is alleged to have, by private treaty, sold a Zexcom eight-tonne truck to a former deputy minister Zenzo Nsimbi for Z$12 million.

She was paid part of the money which amounted to P9 000 and the balance in Zimbabwean dollars, which she converted to her own use.

In 2003, Lunga is alleged to have removed a five-piece floral lounge suite, computer, photocopying machine, 12 diesel engines and other goods from Clicks in Harare.

She allegedly stole one diesel engine and five-piece lounge suite all worth Z$1,5 million and took them to her Filabusi rural home. The total prejudice amounted to Z$15 300 644.