A HARARE businessman, Charles Chisango will next week Wednesday appear before a Shurugwi magistrate facing charges of defrauding his foreign partners of mining equipment worth $2,5 million.
Chisango is said to have formed a joint venture chrome mining company Minemills with a Singaporean investor Frans Thormanhlen.
Thormanhlen’s company, NJZ Resources registered in Hong Kong, in turn supplied the joint venture company with mining equipment on a higher purchase agreement.
But Thormanhlen filed charges of theft against Chisango after the latter allegedly refused to hand over back the mining equipment to NJZ Resources when Minemills had failed to pay off the purchase price due to discontinued operations.
Chisango is also accused of holding on two three vehicles; a black Isuzu, a white Isuzu and a Lupo. He is allegedly holding to an assortment of heavy mining equipment. According to the court papers Chisango is accused of having clandestinely kicked out the foreign investors and started disposing and hiring out the mining equipment to third parties after the joint venture collapsed due to a chrome ore export ban.
Chisango is accused of having disposed of a 40-foot container for $2 000 to Charthigh Investments in December last year. The ownership of the equipment which includes crushers, containers, compressors and three vehicles all valued at $2,5 million has raged on in the courts since last year. The Supreme Court in February this dismissed Chisango’s claim to ownership of the equipment with costs.
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba with Judges of Appeal Anne-Mary Gowora and Antonia Guvava then ruled: “Whereupon, after reading the documents filed of record and hearing counsel by consent it is ordered that the appeal be and is hereby dismissed with costs.”
Before appealing the Supreme Court ruling Chisango had earlier lost his case in the High Court where Justice Chinemembiri Bhunu in October 2009 ruled, “Pending the final determination of this matter the respondents shall deliver all the machinery/equipment to the Deputy Sheriff of Zimbabwe, Harare, within 48 hours for service of this order.”
Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners represented NJZ Resources while Chisango and Minemills lawyers were Wintertons Legal Practitioners.