Lawyer sells client’s properties, pockets $160k

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A Harare lawyer reportedly sold three properties belonging to a client and pocketed $160 000 after he was engaged to effect transfer of the properties in question into a company’s name. Peter Kawonde (49) was not asked to plead to three counts of fraud and one count of theft of trust property when he appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Jessy Kufa, who remanded him out of custody to February 17 for trial.

It is the State’s case that sometime in October 2010, Ms Audrey Mavis Cruickshank was appointed executor through a general power of attorney to administer the estate of the late Stanley Edwin Amm.

The estate had three residential stands in Philadelphia, Harare. Ms Cruickshank sold the properties to the late Odwell Mutandinda Simunyu through Marillar Properties Real Estate Agents.

It is alleged that in October 2010, the now deceased Simunyu later on entered into an agreement of sale and resold the properties in question through ClipClunt Real Estate Agents to the complainant, Broadway Investments.

After the sale had gone through, Broadway Investments engaged Kawonde as conveyancer to effect transfer of the properties to their company, Broadway Investments. The State alleges that Kawonde hatched a plan to defraud the complainant and pursuant to his plan he sold the properties to Mr Noel Jakazi, Mr Phillip Chihuje and Mr Itayi Wafawarova for $165 000.

The offence came to light in January last year after the complainant made physical checks on his properties and discovered that the properties were resold. A report was made to the police leading to Kawonde’s court appearance. It is the State’s case that the complainant suffered an actual prejudice of $160 000 and nothing was recovered.

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