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Matsika loses Croco shares dispute

by Staff reporter
17 Nov 2021 at 05:06hrs | Views
Businessman Farai Matsika on Monday had his appeal against a High Court ruling that he had used fabricated documents in an attempt to wrestle a 30 percent stake in Croco Holdings thrown out by the Supreme Court.

Croco is owned by Matsika's uncle Moses Chingwena and the two have been embroiled in an acrimonious legal combat over the company's shareholding structure.

Matsika had approached the Supreme Court on urgent basis seeking condonation of late filing of appeal, but Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, sitting in his chambers, threw out the case for lack of prospects of success on appeal and criticised the businessman's sneaky conduct in engineering fraudulent documents to mislead the lower court.

 "In the final analysis I hold that the appellants have no reasonable prospects of success on appeal," said Justice Bhunu.

"It is accordingly ordered that the application for condonation of late noting of appeal and extension of time within which to make an appeal be and is hereby dismissed with costs."

Chingwena and his co-respondents who were being represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu had opposed the application arguing that the Matsika was never a shareholder of Croco.

They accused Matsika of relying on forged fraudulent documents and challenged him to prove how he had acquired the alleged company shares.

To make matters worse Matsika filed two conflicting CR2 forms. The first one showed that the company owned all the shares in the second respondent Moses Tonderai Chingwena Family Trust.

Upon realising that the first CR2 form was fatal to his case Matsika filed another CR2 form with his answering affidavit contradicting the first CR2 which asserted that third respondent owned all the shares in second respondent.

Justice Bhunu in his ruling noted that these examples of Matsika's shenanigans portrayed him as a dishonest devious person who was prepared to twist the truth in order to advance his nefarious cause.

"In light of his deceitful character the learned judge a quo cannot be faulted for holding that the applicant's cause was founded on lies and fraudulent documents.

"The first applicant's (Matsika) conduct in providing fraudulent evidence as demonstrated elsewhere in this judgment could only aggravate matters to his detriment."

Justice Bhunu said no fault could be laid at the lower court judge's door in his treatment of the substantive issues and verdict.

"In view of the first applicant's deplorable unbecoming behaviour in manufacturing fraudulent documents to deceive the court, costs at the punitive scale were eminently deserved in the court a quo," said the judge.

"In the current proceedings before me there is no reason for departure from the general rule that costs follow the result."

The High Court properly found that Matsika's application was founded on material falsehoods based on fraudulent documents.

Both the shareholders' agreement and the share transfer documents were adjudged to be fraudulent documents

In the lower court, Matsika's entire case was based on documents which he elected not to explain or provide originals.

He was content during the hearing to insist on reliance on copies, even though the copies had been challenged by Chingwena's lawyer.

His reluctance to furnish the court with original documents meant that the documents remained questionable, and the copies were not sufficient to eliminate the allegation of fraud, according to Justice Tagu.

The feud between Matsika and Chingwena started in early 2015 after Matsika opted to exit Croco Holdings, saying he felt crowded in decision-making by new senior executives hired by Chingwena.

Source - The Herald