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Death threats: minister in court

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HOME AFFAIRS minister Kembo Mohadi yesterday appeared in person at the Bulawayo High Court in a case where he is accused of threatening to kill an employee of AfricOil Petroleum, a consortium keen to invest in the fuel sector in Beitbridge.

Richard Muponde
Senior Court Reporter

Mohadi allegedly stormed into Beitbridge Police Station, where he threatened to kill the employee who had been tasked with conducting an asset assessment of liquidated fuel company, Red Queen Trading (Pvt) Ltd. The fuel company was sold to the investor for $2,3 million.

Mohadi, yesterday, arrived at the court around 9am in the company of his lawyers, Dube-Banda and Nzarayapenga.

The matter did not go into an open court, but the two appeared before Justice Martin Makonese in chambers.

It was postponed to October 16 at 9am for hearing.

A court official, who cannot be named as he was not cleared to speak to the press, said the minister had not filed any opposing papers to the application by the liquidator of Red Queen (Pvt) Ltd, Barbra Lunga.

Lunga is seeking an interdict barring Mohadi and his associates from interfering with her duties.

“The minister and his lawyer indicated that they could not file notice of opposition because they were only served with the papers on Tuesday,” she said.

Mohadi has allegedly been trying to grab the property from Beitbridge businessman Reginald McGillivray Dawson, who set up the enterprise together with his wife Jane using their personal funds. Dawson was subsequently forced to liquidate the company together with two others — Spoornet (Pvt) Ltd and Nerry Investments — because of Mohadi’s constant threats.

Last week the director of AfricOil Petroleum, Never Ndlovu, told Southern Eye that he was eager to engage Mohadi on a one-on-one basis to iron out any differences or misconceptions that he might have. Ndlovu said Mohadi’s threats to evict the firm from premises they legally acquired were unfortunate and unwarranted.

However, Mohadi has defended himself, saying his rivals wanted to liquidate the company without his knowledge. He said the property belonged to him. Two weeks ago, Mohadi reportedly grabbed a security guard, Trust Nhliziyo, by the collar and ordered him to abandon the disputed premises, stand number 1418 and 1419 in Beitbridge.

In an affidavit tendered to the High Court in Bulawayo, Nhliziyo said Mohadi had harassed him.

That was after the minister reportedly stormed the Beitbridge Police Station and threatened to kill Craig Hunter Pott, who was acting on behalf of the investors AfricOil Petroleum, allegedly saying he would kill him the same way he killed white men during the liberation struggle.

Pott made the allegations in his supporting affidavit to Lunga’s application.

AfricOil Petroleum has already paid a deposit of $169 000, but Mohadi is allegedly eager to stop the investment.

The company has already paid a combined $56 000 to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Environment Management Agency and Zimbabwe Investment Authority to operate the business.

The battle between Mohadi and Dawson is so intense that the businessman and his wife were recently arrested in Harare after winning their case against the minister at the High Court.

They were accused of selling Red Queen assets worth more than $1 million without the knowledge of other directors, despite the fact that the company was theirs.

They are out on $2 000 bail each.

In December 2012, Justice Lawrence Kamocha divested Mohadi and his business partner Josias Moyo of the directorship of the companies.

He ordered Mohadi and his business associates to reimburse more than $340 000 they allegedly swindled from Nerry Investments, another company already under liquidation whose bank account the minister had allegedly turned into a “piggy bank”.

Mohadi was found to have authorised the company to pay for his son Campbell Junior’s rental expenses in South Africa.

Campbell had enrolled at Lanseria Flight Centre at the Grand Central Airport in Midrand, Johannesburg, where he is training as a pilot.

He was allegedly getting $680 for personal use every month from company coffers.

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