By Court Reporter
A HARARE court on Friday dropped charges against a South African investor after it emerged that the complainant falsely accused him of fraud and forgery.
Magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura discharged Dharmesh Nagar who was embroiled in a Zanu PF regalia supply saga at the close of state’s case following a successful application by his lawyer Jonathan Samukange.
Nagar was dragged to court by way of summons after the complainant, Patience Chivasa, reported him of fraud and forgery.
This was after the businessman whose Zimbabwean interests collapsed after a protracted battle to secure payment from Chivasa who owed him $20 000.
Chivasa and Nagar had entered into a Zanu PF party-regalia supply deal but the transaction did not materialise as Chivasa purportedly demonstrated traits of a fraudster by lying that she was based in Germany yet she was in Borrowdale, Harare.
At the time, Chivasa was owing $20 000 to Nagar and failed to pay the money since 2015 prompting Nagar to file a criminal docket against her.
It emerged that in turn, Chivasa filed charges of forgery and fraud against Dharmesh claiming that the businessman, in order to strengthen his case, had allegedly accessed and edited one of her e-mails purporting she owed him money.
But court ruled it was clear the charges against Nagar were fabricated by the complainant who was warned against intimidating investors and bringing the name of the ruling party into disrepute.
The magistrate ruled that Chivasa failed to give any reliable evidence in her testimony before the court in relation to Zanu PF regalia and contracts promised to Nagar’s firm.
Under cross examination with Samukange, Chivasa had admitted that she had entered into the deal to impress Former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
She also told the courts it was the responsibility of the current dispensation led by President Mnangagwa to settle the debt with Nagar’s marketing business.
However court ruled her evidence was inconsistent and also queried why it took so long for her to report a case against Nagar.
“It boggles one’s mind to think why the matter took too long to be reported against the accused and the court could only lean on the accused side after listening to the evidence by the state. The state failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the court finds the accused not guilty. He is hereby acquitted and discharged at the close of state’s case,” ruled the magistrate.
Through his lawyer Nagar was denying the charges and argued that Chivasa made false allegations after he unearthed her underhand dealings.
She also admitted she was convicted for failing to pay back money owed to Nagar and is on bail pending appeal.
Chivasa also advised that Nagar via the High Court attached and seized property and personal goods allegedly belonging to her ex-husband a Joseph Lewis Mushaka.
Court ruled it was clear that Chivasa’s version of forgery was highly inconsistent and designed to avoid paying Nagar.
The magistrate was convinced that Samukange proved that Chivasa was bitter and used this as a tactic to deter Nagar from getting the payments.
Chitumbura said the court found no evidence that Nagar had “hacked and forged her email.
The court said the fact that Chivasa failed to produce the alleged forged documents weighed against her rendering her accusations unreliable.