Biti under probe in a case of misrepresentation
The long legal saga over a house in Ridgeway North in Harare’s Highlands suburb, that has seen a civil dispute over ownership and an ongoing criminal fraud case involving a clerk in the office of lawyer and CCC official Tendai Biti continues, with Mr Biti now being investigated after a police complaint by two parties to the dispute.
The house, worth US$231 000, was bought by Mr Mashamhanda in 2019 after it had been attached from Harare lawyer Mr Puwayi Chiutsi following a wrangle with his former client Mr Elliot Rodgers over US$70 000 of trust money. High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi later ruled that Mr Mashamhanda was the legal owner.
Now Mr Chiutsi and Mr Mashamhanda have come together to make a new complaint at Milton Park Police under reference numbers CR76/11/22 and ER 135/22.
Detectives from the CID Commercial Crimes Unit are investigating the complaint, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed.
A former legal clerk with Tendai Biti Law Chambers, Constantine Chaza, has already appeared in court facing two counts of fraud, one of which concerns the Ridgeway North property.
On the first count, it is alleged that on February 26, 2020 at the High Court in Harare, Chaza tendered a fake special power of attorney from Mr Eliot Rogers. The court acted upon the misrepresentation and allowed Chaza to file the papers. But Mr Mashamhanda managed to contact Mr Rogers in the United Kingdom, who denied giving Chaza any power of attorney and the matter was reported to the police.
The special power of attorney tendered by Chaza was then checked out by CID Forensic Laboratory for analysis, together with other documents that Mr Rogers signed, and it was discovered that the documents were not signed by the same person.
On the second count, it is alleged that on October 18, 2021, at the High Court in Harare, Chaza again allegedly tendered a fake special power of attorney from Mr Rogers in another case.
In the latest complaint by Mr Chiutsi and Mr Mashamhanda, Mr Biti is accused of being behind the alleged forgery of the documents purportedly from Mr Rogers and pocketing the money raised from the auction.