VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Emmerson Junior, has been sucked into a business wrangle that has seen BJ Petroleum director Brian Jembere and his company secretary John Tichaona Muhonde being prosecuted for fraud.

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BY CHARLES LAITON

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mnangagwaYesterday, Jembere and Muhonde applied to have the criminal charges against them referred to the Constitutional Court for possible quashing. The application was made before Mbare magistrate Stanley Mambanje.

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The two face charges of conniving to steal shares from HER (Pvt) Limited, a firm in which Jembere is said to be the major shareholder.

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Muhonde and Jembere are denying the fraud allegations against them claiming that instead, Paris Olympios’s mother Nitsa Olympios, who sold the 50% company shares to Jembere for $600 000 in 2009, ought to have paid the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority its dues, as the seller, but failed to so.

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The duo claimed that the criminalisation of what ought to have been a civil dispute was deliberately done by the complainant, Paris, with a view to rope in Mnangagwa’s son into the petroleum business and eventually elbow out Jembere.

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The court heard a resolution to fire Jembere from his firm was allegedly hatched sometime in December last year in a meeting which was attended by Mnangagwa Junior and chaired by one R De-Sar, who is said not to be any of the company directors.

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“R De-Sar who purported to be the chairman was not a director of the company and is still not a director and was not lawfully appointed and cannot be lawfully appointed by Paris Olympios a minority shareholder. Similarly Mnangagwa Junior is not a director and cannot be appointed by the minority shareholder,” Jembere’s lawyer Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba said.

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“The basis of the application was that in respect of Jembere his right to property in terms of section 71 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe was violated and in addition his right to exercise and practice a profession, trade or occupation in terms of section 64 of the Constitution was violated.

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“Muhonde’s application was based on the fact that everything that he did to change the directorships was authorised by the shareholders in an agreement which they signed and therefore he is being prosecuted for carrying out his duties not only as a company’s advisor but also as the company’s secretary who was appointed properly by Olympios and Jembere. It’s clearly an act of harassment in the practice of his profession as a lawyer.”

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Muhonde was represented by advocate Webster Chinamhora.