THE money laundering case where prominent businessman and Seed Co Zimbabwe chairperson Shongwe Michael Ndoro is accusing his ex-co-director Star Precious Ndoro of laundering US$2,3 million has finally been given a trial date.
This comes after the businessman this year raised a complaint against senior public prosecutor Michael Reza over failure to furnish him with a trial date, in a situation that triggered a conflict of interest allegations against the top prosecutor.
In a letter dated January 4 2023, Ndoro who is managing director of Interfruit (Pvt) Ltd is accusing Star Precious Ndoro of laundering US$2,3 million and also facing 632 counts of theft of trust property belonging to the company.
In a meeting recently, the prosecution team indicated that the trial date had now been set for January 30 2023.
“I have lost confidence in the prosecutor’s office at Rotten Row Magistrate Courts as they appear to be partisan in their conduct and I believe that Reza’s office is no longer independent. I kindly request for a transfer of this matter to any other independent and impartial prosecutor at a similar level who can deliberate on the matter without fear or favour or any further delays.
“I find it inappropriate that Reza would take a lackadaisical approach. This matter has been sitting on his desk for at least 3 weeks now with NO action on his part and now he is indicating he needs a further week before any appropriate action is taken, whilst the investigating officers have completed their investigations,” the letter by Ndoro against Reza reads.
Ndoro alleges that he reported the matter in April 2019 and Reza requested that a Forensic External Audit be carried out.
According to the letter, this was completed in November 2022. On December 15 2022, Reza received the docket with all the required documents.
- Business exec, prosecutor clash over US$2,3m laundering case
- Seed Co chair's US$2,3m case finally goes to trial
On January 4 2023, Ndoro alleges that Reza was still in possession of the docket despite having promised earlier on that he would assign his details to handle the case.
Ndoro further claimed that he had not seen the prosecutor to which his case has been assigned because Reza indicated that the assigned prosecutor has multiple deaths in the family and will not be available for another week.
“This concerns us as it appears that the assigned Prosecutor is the only individual in the whole prosecutor’s office who can work on this particular case,” reads the letter.
In another case, Shongwe Ndoro who is the founder and shareholder of Zororo Energy Group is facing allegations of forging the company’s registration documents in a bid to elbow out Star Precious Ndoro from the directorship of the company and a trial date has been set for February 1 2022.
Ndoro is expected to jointly appear with Tunika Phaenah Mkhahanana, who is facing similar accusations.
According to court documents, the State claims that Star Precious Ndoro is not the accuser in this case but the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera). However, there was no signed affidavit from the energy regulator.
In fact, Star Precious Ndoro is the one who reported the matter at Avondale police in February 2022 CR150/02/22 and not Zera.
In addition, according to documents seen by the Independent, Zororo Energy physical records shows Ndoro and Mkahanana are directors and shareholders.