Businessman loses second appeal in Croco Motors ownership row

HARARE – The Supreme Court has once again dismissed businessman Farai Matsika’s appeal against a ruling from the same court in which he lost the control of Croco Motors.

In dismissing the appeal, Justices Elizabeth Gwaunza, Joseph Musakwa and Hlekani Mwayera said the appeal was improperly put before their court as they had no jurisdiction over the matter.

Matsika was up in arms with Moses Chingwena, his relative he accused of snatching the company from him.

In the present matter, the judges said they could hear his appeal.

“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that the preliminary point on jurisdiction raised by the respondents (Fair Gold Investments and 35 others) be and is hereby upheld with costs.

“The court declines jurisdiction in this matter.

“Full reasons for this order will follow in due course,” ruled the court.

Matsika was recently accused of illegally trying to grab Croco Holdings from his cousin, Chingwena who was declared the rightful owner by the High Court and Supreme Court.

He had mounted an appeal against High Court judge Owen Tagu who ruled that Matsika had put nothing before the courts to support his ownership claims.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu ruled it was Matsika’s obligation to convince the court.

He noted it was clear the businessman did not do so but doctored documents which made it difficult for both courts to believe him.

“In the final analysis, no-fault or misdirection can be laid at the learned judge a quo’s door in his treatment of the substantive issues and verdict,” Bhunu said.

The judge said in view of Matsika’s “deplorable, unbecoming behaviour” in which he tried to deceive the court, he deserves costs at the punitive scale.

“In the final analysis, I hold that the appellants have no reasonable prospects of success on appeal.

“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,” he ruled.

Matsika had, in his Supreme Court appeal, complained that the High Court had made some errors in concluding he had sought to grab the company through the back door.

He demanded a forensic audit and valuation of Croco Holdings and 35 other entities.

Matsika claimed he had built the Croco business empire for 26 years while his cousin Chingwena was working at LCZ, Century Bank, and Discount House, which he added are failed companies.

However, Chingwena argued that Matsika failed to place before the court, evidence showing how he secured the 30% stake in the vehicle sale company.

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