Ex-Zifa boss faces fraud probe

Ex-Zifa boss faces fraud probe
Published: 22 July 2017
Former Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze is allegedly currently undergoing fraud investigations for operating a Ponzi scheme in collusion with some of Zifa's creditors.

This information was revealed by the current acting Zifa CEO Joseph Mamutse, who submitted an affidavit in court in a matter in which he was opposing the garnishing of Zifa's bank accounts by a local travel agent, The Travel Bureau (Pvt) Ltd t/a Arena Travel.

Sometime in June this year, the firm filed a court application through its managing director Tendai Gutu seeking to garnish Zifa's Steward Bank accounts over $27 870 owed by the association for the Warriors airfares to Cameroon in 2015.

However, Mamutse opposed the application denying Zifa owed the travel agent since there were no records of such transactions except an acknowledgement of debt document signed by Mashingaidze.

"It is denied that respondent (Zifa) owes applicant (Travel Bureau) a debt of outstanding airfares as there is no record of respondent ever having engaged or transacted with the applicant. Applicant's claim is merely based on letters of acknowledgement of debt authored by Mashingaidze in his capacity as the respondent's CEO," Mamutse said.

Mamutse further said it would not be proper for the court to issue a garnish order against Zifa given that the debt was being contested and an application seeking rescission of the default judgment entered in favour of Arena Travel had been filed and was still pending in court.

"On June 21, 2017, respondent was served with a copy of an application for attachment of its bank accounts with the garnishee in terms of order 42 Rule 377 of the High Court rules in case number 5540/17. Neither respondent nor its employees had any prior knowledge whatsoever of the existence of a claim, better yet a court order, in favour of the applicant. Respondent had no knowledge that there was an order against it," Mamutse said.

"Lack of knowledge negates the possibility of any wilful default on the part of the respondent. Therefore, it is permissible for the respondent to challenge the default judgment. Further, respondent has good prospect of success given that applicant has no proof of its claim save for letters acknowledging debt signed by respondent's erstwhile chief executive officer, Jonathan Mashingaidze.

He added: "Mashingaidze is currently the subject of a fraud case wherein he operated a Ponzi scheme in collusion with respondent's alleged creditors like the applicant. It is in this context that respondent is strongly opposed to applicant's application."

The acting CEO said the court order in case number HC10680/15, which constituted the basis of his application, was the subject of an application for rescission in case number HC6111/17 which was pending before the court.

"I am advised that it is premature and improper for the court to sanction execution on an order that is currently being challenged before it on valid grounds and merit. The prejudice that would be occasioned by granting this application is irreversible should this court rule in favour of the respondent in case number HC6111/17," Mamutse said.

In his submissions, Mamutse further said the Travel Bureau was unknown to Zifa and its members of staff adding there was no "link/nexus between applicant and respondent in terms of respondent's records save for a default judgment granted in favour of applicant".

Mamutse also argued it was surprising that the travel agent was seeking to garnish only Zifa whereas the default judgement was entered against three parties.

"The default judgment was granted in favour of the applicant against three parties namely the respondent, Mashingaidze and former Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, it is, therefore, incorrect for the applicant to cite the respondent as the only judgment debtor… and unfair for the applicant to seek to execute against the respondent only given that there are two other parties who are judgment debtors in case number HC10680/15," he said.

After Mamutse had submitted his affidavit, the application for a garnish order did not proceed to be entertained and the matter was removed from the roll.
- newsday
Tags: Zifa, Ponzi, Fraud,


Latest News

Latest Published Reports

Latest jobs