Zimbabwe: Failure to Return Client's Car Lands Businessman in Court

23 January 2020

Stephen Margolis, who runs the Stephen Margolis Resort along Chitungwiza Road in Harare, yesterday appeared in court facing accusations of failing to return a clients' vehicle he took as surety for using his wedding facilities.

Margolis (68) appeared before Harare magistrate Yeukai Dzuda facing theft of trust property charges. He denied failing to return Moline Rufaro Mapandu's Honda Fit, which she gave him as surety when she used his wedding facilities and failed to pay the full amount at once. Margolis told the court that Mapandu entered into an agreement with his company, not with him in his personal capacity.

"I plead not guilty to the charges. She entered an agreement with my company, not me," he said. Allegations against the businessman are that on February 27, 2016 Mapandu decided to use Margolis' wedding facilities.

It is said that the parties agreed on a certain amount, with Mapandu making an initial payment of $1 100 and promising to settle the balance within six weeks.

The court heard that Mapandu then handed Margolis her Honda Fit as security.

Mapandu, according to the State, managed to raise the remaining amount and approached Margolis at his Margolis Plaza offices.

Upon her arrival, she was received by Margolis' secretary who reportedly told her that he was out of the country and asked her to return once Margolis returned.

Magistrate Dzuda was told that Mapandu was shocked to be shown an agreement of sale for the Honda Fit.

Irked by the businessman's act, Mapandu lodged a complaint with the police leading to his arrest. Margolis is expected back in court on February 18 for trial.

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