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Biti under probe in a case of misrepresentation

by Staff reporter
02 Nov 2023 at 20:19hrs | Views
The prolonged legal dispute involving a residence in Ridgeway North, situated in Harare's Highlands suburb, continues to unfold, encompassing both a civil dispute regarding ownership and an ongoing criminal fraud case implicating a clerk affiliated with lawyer and CCC official Tendai Biti's office. The latest development involves Mr. Biti himself, who is now under investigation following a formal police complaint filed by two parties embroiled in the dispute.

The residence, valued at US$231,000, was acquired by Mr. Mashamhanda in 2019 after it had been seized from Harare lawyer Mr. Puwayi Chiutsi amid a conflict with his former client, Mr. Elliot Rodgers, concerning US$70,000 in trust funds. High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi subsequently decreed Mr. Mashamhanda as the rightful owner of the property.

Presently, both Mr. Chiutsi and Mr. Mashamhanda have joined forces to register a new complaint with the Milton Park Police, referenced under numbers CR76/11/22 and ER 135/22.

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the national police spokesperson, has confirmed that detectives from the CID Commercial Crimes Unit are now investigating this complaint.

Previously, a former legal clerk from Tendai Biti Law Chambers, Constantine Chaza, appeared in court, facing two counts of fraud, with one of the counts relating to the Ridgeway North property. The first count alleges that on February 26, 2020, at the High Court in Harare, Chaza submitted a counterfeit special power of attorney purportedly from Mr. Eliot Rogers. The court acted on this misrepresentation, allowing Chaza to file the documents. However, Mr. Mashamhanda managed to contact Mr. Rogers in the United Kingdom, who disavowed granting any power of attorney to Chaza. Consequently, the matter was reported to the police.

Further scrutiny of the special power of attorney submitted by Chaza, carried out by the CID Forensic Laboratory, revealed that the signature on these documents did not match those on other papers Mr. Rogers had signed.

On the second count, Chaza allegedly tendered another fraudulent special power of attorney from Mr. Rogers in a separate case at the High Court in Harare on October 18, 2021.

In the most recent complaint brought by Mr. Chiutsi and Mr. Mashamhanda, Mr. Biti stands accused of orchestrating the forgery of documents purportedly from Mr. Rogers and profiting from the proceeds raised through the property auction.

Source - The Herald