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Top Bulawayo lawyer nabbed on fresh fraud charges

by Staff Reporter
26 Aug 2017 at 10:20hrs | Views
A TOP Bulawayo lawyer, Russell Dzete, has been arrested on fresh fraud charges after he allegedly ganged up with two accomplices and defrauded an unsuspecting home seeker of more than $13 000.

Dzete (34) of Athlone Flats in the city centre appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya on Thursday facing fraud charges.
He was remanded out of custody on his own cognisance to September 7.

Dzete, who was employed at Marondedze, Mukuku and Partners Law firm in Bulawayo which has since been placed under curatorship, allegedly connived with Austin Moyo and Cavan Maibvise to defraud the complainant of her money.

Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo said sometime in November 2015, Dzete connived with Moyo and Maibvise who is still at large to defraud unsuspecting home seekers of their money.

The court heard that Maibvise placed an advertisement in a local newspaper indicating that he was selling a residential stand in Bulawayo's Selbourne Park suburb.

The house belonged to one Nhlanhla Sibanda.

Ms Noria Kairezi who was looking for a residential stand saw the advert and contacted Maibvise. The two agreed to meet so that Ms Kairezi could view the stand.

"The complainant was satisfied with the size of the stand and she agreed to buy it upon being assured by Maibvise that the transaction would be handled by lawyers," said Mr Dlodlo.

Dzete allegedly teamed up with Moyo and Maibvise and they produced a fake identity document with particulars of Sibanda, the owner of the stand.

On December 2 in 2015, Maibvise invited Ms Kairezi to come to Dzete's offices to finalise the sale of the property.

Upon her arrival, the complainant was taken into an office where she was introduced to Moyo who purported to be Sibanda.

"The accused reassured the complainant that all the papers were in order and she was satisfied with Dzete's explanation on the strength that he was a lawyer," said Mr Dlodlo.

Ms Kairezi agreed to buy the stand for $13 340 and Dzete drafted an agreement of sale which the complainant and her husband signed.
After buying the stand, Ms Kairezi sought to develop the stand. Dzete drafted a special power of attorney under the name of the dubious Sibanda and it was

signed by Moyo and handed over to the complainant.

"Sometime in March 2016 on an unknown date, the complainant proceeded to occupy the residential stand and developed it to the tune of $9 500," said Mr Dlodlo.

On May 6 last year, Sibanda's employee visited the stand and observed new developments. He immediately notified his employer. When Ms Kairezi met Sibanda she discovered that she had been duped. She engaged Dzete in a bid to recover her money. The court heard that Dzete drafted an agreement undertaking to refund the complainant her money. Dzete failed to honour the agreement resulting in the complainant making a report leading to Dzete's arrest. Ms Kairezi was prejudiced of a total amount of $22 840.

In another matter before the courts, Dzete allegedly ganged up with Moyo, Maibvise and one Joseph Masose Mugavazi and they forged title deeds which they used to sell a house in Suburbs residential area for $50 500 without the owners' knowledge.

The offence came to light when the owner of the property noticed that his house was being renovated and a report was made to the police leading to the trio's arrest. In 2015, another prominent lawyer with the now defunct Cheda and Partners Law firm in Bulawayo, Mlamuli Ncube and three accomplices, allegedly forged powers of attorney and used them to sell two houses in the leafy suburbs of Burnside and Fortunes Gate for $75 000.

Ncube is now on the run after committing a series of fraud cases.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the Government is worried about the increase in bogus and unscrupulous lawyers who are defrauding the public.

The VP, who oversees the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, said the Government had noted the worrying reports of people who have lost money and property to unruly lawyers.

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