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Judge embarrasses Kembo Mohadi

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HOME AFFAIRS minister Kembo Mohadi has suffered a blow in his quest to grab a fuel station in Beitbridge after a High Court judge barred him from interfering with operations of an investor — AfricOil, which has bought the liquidated fuel depot Red Queen for about $2,3 million.

Richard Muponde
Senior Court REPORTER

Mohadi was also warned that the courts had a duty to protect the country’s laws and protect both the weak and poor in society.

Justice Martin Makonese also threatened to censure Mohadi’s lawyer, a Mawadze for using inflammatory language against the company’s legal practitioner Joseph James.

Mohadi had been accused of threatening to kill an employee of AfricOil Petroleum, a consortium keen to invest in the fuel sector in Beitbridge.

In his judgment made on Monday, Justice Makonese said there was enough evidence that the minister interfered with the operations of the company’s liquidator, Barbra Lunga, who sold Red Queen to AfricOil.gavel31

“In this matter I am concerned with preservation of law and order,” he ruled.

“The first respondent (Mohadi), who occupies a special and important position as a Minister of Home Affairs, a position he has held for more than a decade, must appreciate that the courts have a duty to ensure that the laws of the land are protected and that the weak and powerful in society must feel protected.

“Any acts of self-help must to that extent be discouraged.”

The judge said since Mohadi did not challenge the allegations of physically manhandling guards at the premises and threatening Lunga, the balance of probabilities indicated that there was interference.

“In spite of denial that officers from Zimbabwe Republic Police have taken over control of the assets, I am inclined to believe that the first respondent (Mohadi) has indeed interfered with the use and enjoyment of the assets.

“The real issue for the respondents is to take whatever legal action they deem fit in the courts of law for appropriate relief.

“The court cannot condone self-help.

“The language used in all pleadings and documents filed in court should not seek to cast aspersions on the integrity or otherwise of other legal practitioners, care must always be taken by legal practitioners not to use inflammatory language and use of intemperate language will always be discouraged.”

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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