Zimbabwe: Ex-Deputy Minister in $766 000 Debt Row

Former Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Fred Moyo is said to have attempted to conceal an attached property into a family trust to prevent a financial institution from selling the property to recover more than $766 000 debt owed to it.

Moyo transferred an immovable asset into a family trust when it was apparent that his financial obligations were threatening his private estate.

However, Moyo lost the family estate after the High Court ruled in favour of Stanbic Bank, which had advanced him $760 986,67 as recapitalisation loan.

Justice Edith Mushore granted Stanbic Bank's application for sequestration of Moyo's estate and appointment of a trustee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the dispossession of the property.

She also appointed old-timer chartered accountant Ms Theresa Grimmel as trustee.

She ruled that the bank had in terms of the law established compelling reasons for the final compulsory sequestration of Moyo's estate.

"I therefore, make the following order ... the provisional order granted ... on the 13th of November 2018 be and is hereby confirmed," she ordered.

"For the avoidance of doubt the terms of the final order are that the respondent's estate is sequestrated. The Master shall appoint Theresa Grimmel, a chartered accountant as trustee."

The bank had approached the High Court for an order directing the investigation and identification of Moyo's properties to go under the hammer to liquidate the debt.

In March 2015, the bank obtained a judgment against Moyo and three other parties for them to pay $760 986,67.

The financial institution said it was prompted to file the current application after the property it managed to attach was only valued at $7 767,02.

The bank claims that as proceedings to attach the politician's assets were underway, Moyo transferred his immovable property to trust called Nelundo Family Trust.

The application lodged before the court was therefore for the sequestration of Moyo's estate in terms of the provisions of the Insolvency Act principally on the basis that the former deputy minister had allegedly committed an act of insolvency on account of his failure to discharge his liability to the bank.

The bank said after the sale of the politician's property, it engaged Moyo with a view to ensure that the he honoured the cheque of his obligation.

However, when the Sheriff went to attach Moyo's property, certain property which was part of the attachment list went missing and a police report was filed, but yielded no results. Moyo challenged the application, claiming it was invalid.

He denied ever failing to pay his debts arguing that he has more than enough assets to expunge the judgment debt.

The loan agreement between the parties is said to have been entered on August 30, 2012 at which time the bank released the funds.

The parties then agreed that Moyo's mine, Ox Mining, would repay the loan with interest, but in breach of the loan agreement, the mine failed to pay the amount, prompting the bank to sue for recovery.

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