Top lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa sues former clerk for stealing US$128k in trust funds

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By Mary Taruvinga I Senior Reporter

TOP Harare lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa and her partners, have taken a former clerk to court on allegations of stealing ZW$32 million in trust funds, which was equivalent to US$128,000.

Mtetwa together with her partners, Tawanda Nyambirai, Mzokuthula Mbuyisa and Douglas Coltart are suing Tendayi Satarawu Murambiza.

The case was in the courts earlier this year but Mtetwa and Nyambirai law firm had withdrawn the matter after Murambiza admitted the offence and promised to pay back the money.

Murambiza however, backpedaled on his promises and became evasive after he was confronted by the partners.

Also cited as respondents are his wife Perpetua Shora and one Cade Shonhiwa Zvavanjanja who bound himself as surety and co-principal debtor after Murambiza agreed to pay back the money.

Summons filed at the High Court show that Murambiza made a surprise u-turn and defended the claim of US$128,000 against him.

“Although Murambiza surrendered the Mercedes Benz and Mazda vehicles set out in the annex A, he has despite demand refused, failed and neglected to sign or cooperate in any way in the process to sell such assets to recover embezzled amounts,” reads the summons.

“In respect of the herd of cattle, Murambiza has refused to surrender the stock book or to facilitate the sale or disposal of the cattle to recover part of the embezzled monies.

“With regards his rights, title and interest in Stand 130 Kambuzuma Township measuring 255 square meters and held under Deed of Transfer No 1370/1999, Murambiza has refused to surrender the deed, has refused to cooperate in any way in the sale of the property and has instead advised the Registrar of Deeds that the property is not for sale nd not to facilitate the transfer of the property to any third party,” further reads court papers.

Murambiza was in February this year taken to court charged with the theft of US$128,000 from the law firm’s trust account.

At the time, Murambiza admitted the theft and signed an agreement acknowledging liability in the sum of US$128,000.

This caused the law firm to withdraw the criminal charges against him.

Murambiza then pledged and surrendered various assets to the law firm which included his rights and interest in Kambuzuma property, an unfinished house in Domboshawa, two motor vehicles, 43 herd of cattle and US$15,210 which was in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Court papers show he also signed special powers of attorney authorising the sale by the lawyers of these assets.

However, when a buyer was found for the Kambuzuma property, Murambiza refused to cooperate, instead writing to the Registrar of Deeds on the 11 March, 2022 advising that his property had been fraudulently advertised as being for sale.

He also said this was done without his knowledge.

The matter is yet to be heard.