Council refuses private investigation in bid to recover US$180,000 lost to a bogus firm

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By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent

CITY of Masvingo is reportedly not taking the private investigation route and is making an application to the Registrar of Deeds office in another desperate attempt to recover money paid to a bogus Harare company.

The company had promised to deliver bitumen and reversible plate compactors at the Town House but failed to own up to the deal.

The local authority allegedly paid US$180 000 to a firm known as Podilla Ventures (Private) Limited in 2018 for 695 drums of bitumen and two reversible plate compactors.

However, the supplier only delivered 150 drums of Bitumen, leaving a balance of over 500 drums and the two reversible plate compactors.

It has emerged that there have been many attempts to recover the money but to no avail since the company is no longer existing.

Council has also sought and been granted a High Court order in an effort to recover its money from Podilla Ventures, but this has not materialised due to its non-existence.

This has prompted some council officials to recommend a private investigator, who will be contracted to dig deep and locate the company’s directors.

A recommendation had been made earlier this year advising the local authority to hire a private investigator.

“It was reported that Council engaged its lawyers to recover the outstanding amount and a High Court order was issued in favour of Council,” reads the recomendation.

“The Chamber Secretary recommended that the council engage a private investigator to locate Podilla Ventures and make service of the High Court order. The item was deferred to the next meeting pending further research.”

Masvingo Mayor, Collen Maboke, quashed the recommendation of hiring a private investigator, which he said would be problematic.

“The issue of hiring a private investigator came as a proposal but we decided not to take that route because it can be problematic,” Maboke told

He, however, told this publication that they were making efforts to recover the money and that they want to make an application to the Deeds office to get addresses of Podilla Ventures directors.

“We have decided to check with the Registrar of Deeds so that we get addresses of the company directors because they are still operating another company, so we decided to make an application for the unveiling of the corporate zone,” he added.

City council is still counting loses and is desperately trying to make use of all avenues to recover the money.