INDEPENDENT Zimbabwe’s first Education minister Dzingai Barnabas Mutumbuka has lost his Supreme Court appeal against the fraudulent sale of his Chisipite home by a team of fraudsters working in cahoots with Deeds Office staff.
Mutumbuka had his US$600 000 home sold for a meagre US$140 000 after the suspects Prosper Bizweck and Tatenda Wakatama fraudulently changed ownership of the property.
The former Cabinet minister successfully caused the arrest of the accused and launched an appeal at the Supreme Court seeking an order to rescind a default High Court judgment, but lost the appeal after failing to pay the required security fee.
“Reference is made to the civil appeal you filed on Thursday, the 28th day of September 2023. It is noted that you did not comply with Rule 55 (5) of the Supreme Court rules (2018) with regards to pay merit of security costs. In terms of Sub-rule (6) of Rule 55 of the aforementioned rules, the appeal is regarded as abandoned,” the Supreme Court registrar said in a notice to Mutumbuka.
The former minister wanted to appeal the order that was granted by former High Court judge Justice Webster Nicholas Chinamhora, who resigned recently following corruption allegations.
Chinamhora had granted the order for Mutumbuka to vacate his house on a technicality.
The order, issued on September 18, 2023, directed Mutumbuka to vacate the house and supply the purported new owner with the necessary paperwork.
Mutumbuka then appealed to the Supreme Court.
According to court papers, on June 22, 2021, Bizweck and Wakatama, together with accomplices Jonah Ngome, Taurai Makata, Peter Chigayo and Kenias Mutyasira, who are still at large, forged title deeds to House No 90 along Harare Drive in Chisipite, Harare, which is registered in Mutumbuka’s name and changed them to Ngome’s name.
The duo was working with officials from the Deeds Registry offices.
As a result of the forgery, they sold Mutumbuka’s house to Harrison Marange for US$140 000.
Ngome was found in possession of a City of Harare tax invoice which he used in the sale of Mutumbuka’s house.
The investigating officer said there were WhatsApp messages where Marange was demanding US$45 000 from the duo which he paid as a deposit towards the purchase of the house.
The accused were summoned by the police, but they did not present themselves and Wakatama was arrested after a 12-hour manhunt.