Bogus lawyer exposed in Scotia Steel case 

Source: Bogus lawyer exposed in Scotia Steel case | The Herald December 18, 2017

Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
Scotia Steel Private Limited wants its case to be investigated after a bogus lawyer allegedly brought a fake application in its name at the High Court, resulting in the firm being awarded $119 000 against Chitungwiza Municipality for supplying a jet machine six years ago.

The firm has vehemently denied instituting any legal proceedings against the municipality.

This follows a judgment granted in its favour on December 5 by High Court judge, Justice Mary Dube, ordering council to pay for the services.

The local authority advertised for a tender to be supplied with a jet machine, which Scotia Steel allegedly won in 2011.

Through its lawyer Mr B.K Mataruka of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans Legal Practitioners, the firm has since put the record straight by writing to the Registrar of the High Court.

“Our client came across an article in The Herald of Wednesday 6 December 2017, in which it was reported that it had won a matter against Chitungwiza Municipality,” said Mr Mataruka.

“Having read this article, our client’s managing director, Engineer J. Manase then instructed us to investigate the matter, as his company has never instituted any legal proceedings against the municipality.

“We wish to advise that the writer attended at your chambers on Friday 8 December 2017 and obtained a copy of the judgment in question. Having read the judgment, our client’s view is that there is an attempt to defraud the defendant in circumstances which prima facie appear to be fraudulent.”

Mr Mataruka said their client indeed tendered for a jet machine, but nothing materialised.

“Our client did not authorise the institution of the legal proceedings and has never instructed Messrs Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono to act for it in any matter,” he said. “All of our client’s legal issues since 2010 have been handled by ourselves or Messrs Warara and Associates.

“The said Ernest Paul Muzenge Zhou who allegedly led evidence on behalf of our client is unknown to our client. He has never been an employee of our client, let alone the head of finance as recorded on page two of the judgement. Our client’s representatives recall tendering for a jet machine sometime in 2011 as had been advertised by Chitungwiza Municipality.”

The lawyers further stated that Scotia Steel did not receive any response to the tender and assumed that it had lost.

“It, therefore, never paid for or imported the machine as falsely alleged by the individuals who claimed to represent it at trial,” said Mr Mataruka. “Whilst we appreciate that her Ladyship may be functus, we were of the view that it was ethical duty to bring this issue to the attention of the court.

“In the event that her Ladyship would like to meet with our clients together with all interested parties, we advise of our availability and that of our clients at any time of her Ladyship’s convenience. We have, by copy of this letter, advised both parties involved through their legal; practitioners and further state that our clients shall shortly file a report with the Serious Fraud Division of ZRP, in order for the authorities to investigate the matter.”

Reports were that the firm imported the machine in line with the tender, but council failed to pay for it.