US$23m lawsuit for Magaya 

Source: US$23m lawsuit for Magaya | The Herald May 10, 2019

US$23m lawsuit for Magaya
Walter Magaya

Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations  and Special Reports Editor
PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya and his wife, Tendai, have been taken to the High Court for failure to repay a US$23 million loan to Homelink Finance (Private) Limited.

Magaya and his wife bound themselves as surety and co-principal debtor to a loan extended to Yadah Connect (Private) Limited last year.

He risks losing his sprawling property in Waterfalls, Harare, which is used as a guest house.

Stand numbers 167 and 168 of Prospect, Harare, measuring a combined 7,9 hectares, were tendered as security for the loan and they become executable upon failure by the debtors to service the loan.

They also offered mining machinery, equipment and vehicles financed under the facility as security.

Homelink, through its lawyers, Shomwe-Nyakuedzwa Attorneys filed summons for provisional sentence against Mr and Mrs Magaya as well as Yadah Connect.

The company argues that the defendants breached the loan agreement, hence an order compelling them to pay should be issued.

Homelink, according to the papers filed at court, extended a facility of US$23 338 745 to Yadah Connect in 2018.

The parties agreed that the loan would be repaid in 33 monthly instalments of US$784 873,62 inclusive of interest, with effect from December 31 last year.

Repayment, according to the papers, was to be paid in US dollars.

Interest on the loan facility, according to the agreement, should be charged at the aggregate rate of 7,5 percent per annum but subject to change in line with the prevailing market conditions.

Magaya is yet to respond to the civil claim.

Meanwhile, the trial within a trial being conducted in the case of PHD Ministries on charges of failing to declare tax of over $28 million revenue accrued from 2013 to 2018 continued yesterday with board member (finance) Nelson Marimo denying knowledge of the financial statements being used by the State, writes Prosper Dembedza.

The trial within a trial was conducted after the State tendered financial statements whose authenticity was queried by the church’s lawyer, Mr Admire Rubaya.

Mr Marimo disputed the financial statements being used by Zimra, saying only him can produce such information.

He said when Zimra officials raided their offices and confiscated computers, he was in South Africa only to receive a phone call from Winnie Matimati, an accounts clerk, informing him that they had taken everything that they needed for their investigations.

“I am the only one who drafts such documents and my computer is protected by a password which is only known to myself,” he said.

Mr Marimo told the court that he does not relate to the contents of the financial documents as they don’t reflect the financial position of PHD.

Harare Provincial magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya rolled over the matter to May 24 after the church’s legal practitioner Mr Oliver Marwa said he wanted to call Matimati as a second witness in their defence.

Magaya’s church is being charged for breaching Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations on over $28 million realized from sale of church wares since 2013.

According to the State, the church raises revenue from selling church regalia, anointing oil, holy water and its guest house. It is alleged that sometime in October last year, the Zimra conducted tax investigations and recovered financial statements from PHD for the period extending from 2013 to 2017.

The court heard that Zimra recovered financial statements from the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe which were submitted by PHD for a loan application.

The statements showed that the church realised sales amounting to $28 706 040 between 2013 and 2017.

It is alleged that during that period, the church did not submit income tax returns to Zimra. The court heard that during the same period, PHD paid remuneration amounting to $950 522,99 to Magaya’s wife, Tendai, directly into her personal Stanbic Bank account.

PHD also transferred remuneration of US$2 403 658,24 to Magaya’s Stanbic Bank account and on both occasions, the church evaded tax by not paying Pay As You Earn.

It is the State case that Magaya’s church had no records of all goods and services that it sells and purchases, in violation of the VAT Act.