Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations and Special Reports Editor
CONVICTED criminal and David Whitehead Textiles shareholder Edwin Chimanye, who is on an outstanding warrant of arrest, last week attended the firm’s creditors and members’ meetings in Harare amid reports that police were struggling to apprehend him.
The businessman, who now appears “untouchable”, was convicted for dating a minor in 2013 and slapped with an 18-month prison term.
His appeal was dismissed for want of prosecution in 2015, but he had been unlawfully enjoying freedom for four years.
Police launched a manhunt for Chimanye some three weeks ago, saying efforts were being made to arrest him.
But on Monday, Chimanye, who was presumably in hiding, made an appearance at the meetings held at Mandel Training Centre on July 15 and 16 this year.
The Herald established that David Whitehead judicial manager Mr Knowledge Hofisi communicated to Chimanye’s lawyers — Tamuka Moyo Attorneys — a letter which was also copied to the Master of High Court, that Chimanye was among the shareholders who attended the meetings.
Part of the letter filed with the office of the Master of High Court reads:
“We report that separate statutory meetings of creditors and members were held on 15 and 16 July 2019, respectively. Representatives from your law firm (Tamuka Moyo Attorneys) and your client Mr Edwin Chimanye were in attendance . . .”
Sources also confirmed Chimanye attended the meetings, where he reportedly grilled the judicial manager in his quest to protect his rights in the business.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed they were yet to arrest Chimanye, adding that efforts had been made last week to locate him.
“The new warrant was released to us last week, and we have so far visited his house looking for him.
“Someone close to him informed us that he had gone to Gokwe to buy cotton, but we are still trying to verify the claims.
“However, we have put in place other contingent measures to ensure he is arrested.
“We are making all efforts to ensure he is arrested,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Investigations by The Herald also revealed that last week, Chimanye’s lawyer, instead of taking his client to the police, approached the Harare Magistrates’ Court seeking to verify the authenticity of the warrant of arrest.
The Herald has it on good record that Chimanye, on April 19 this year, attended another meeting before the Master of High Court to agree on the dates to hold the shareholders and stakeholders’ meetings.
Facts are that on January 7 2013, around 5pm, Chimanye saw a young girl walking along Ascot Road in Avondale, prompting him to stop his vehicle and give her his business card.
He contacted the girl before agreeing to meet on January 10 so that they would go out together. Chimanye bought her a Nokia Asha for communication on WhatsApp and at one time a family friend saw the girl with this phone, went through the pair’s messages and concluded that the two were lovers.
He picked up the girl and her friends on the same day around 7pm and took them to Richwood Park, where he asked them to buy drinks and food, leaving Chimanye to fondle and kiss the girl in the vehicle.
The girl told the court that Chimanye once asked her to look for a lodge near her residence and a family friend confirmed the pair’s relationship. At one time Chimanye asked the girl to send him her nude pictures, which she did.
The matter came to light when the girl’s parents discovered the mobile phone.