A MASVINGO magistrate has approved the attachment and auctioning of two buses, a
Mercedes-Benz, a trailer and office equipment belonging to Honest Chatikobo, who ran a money-lending firm which went bust last year prejudicing many people, mainly civil servants, of their money.
Chatikobo, a senior member of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Church – Africa (Zaoga) ran a pyramid scheme, through his money lending company, Paramount Holdings, but failed to pay depositors their money back.
In her ruling last week, magistrate Sibonginkosi Mnkandla said the property should be attached and sold to repay debts, despite Chatikobo saying the property did not belong to him, but a different company.
Chatikobo’s property was attached on June 18 this year, but he argued it was not his.
Chatikobo, his wife Mavis, a relative Army Chatikobo and Simon Simukai were taken to court by Tandiwe Dube who sought to be reimbursed $9 700.
Henry Vagere demanded $4 000, while Chirabwa Artwell wanted $3 400.
Another depositor, Zvidzai Stephen wanted $5 000 back.
In his defence, Chatikobo, represented by Isaac Muzenda of Muzenda and Partners law firm, argued that the property did not belong to him, but to another legal entity, Paramount Capital (Pvt) Ltd, which, however, turned out to be a subsidiary of the money lending firm.
“That property does not belong to any one of the directors.” Chatikobo argued.
“The messenger of court has no right to go against the property of the claimant. He must only attach property belonging to the judgment debtor.”
However, the creditors’ lawyer Rodney Saratoga Makausi of Saratoga Makausi Law Firm, in response to Chatikobo’s inter-pleader summons, successfully identified that the claimant is a sister company of Paramount Holdings, where some funds from the depositors were channelled to, leading to the failure by the parent company to repay depositors their money.
Mnkandla dismissed Chatikobo’s inter-pleader summons, meaning the attachment and subsequent auctioning will go ahead.
Despite selling his Paramount Academy in Masvingo town at an undisclosed amount to the Great Zimbabwe University, as well as several buses, Chatikobo still failed to service all his debts, which are said to have been slightly above $2 million.
A number of such schemes have collapsed in recent months, with the most notable being Geozing Pawnbrokers and Perfect Shot Investments.