Chief Court Reporter
Judicial manager Cecil Madondo, who is facing allegations of selling the same exclusive mining rights three times between October and December last year, causing one company to lose US$260 000, tested freedom after the High Court released him on $100 000 bail on Thursday.
He had been in custody since his arrest early this month after being denied bail at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Aggrieved by the magistrate’s decision, Madondo, through his lawyer, Mr Reuben Mukavhi approached the High Court on appeal arguing that the lower court misdirected itself in holding that he would interfere with witnesses if released on bail.
Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa found no compelling reasons to deny Madondo bail.
Looking at the totality of the facts and the circumstances of Madondo, the court found that he was a proper candidate for bail. It also considered that Madondo was a professional accountant whose credentials were such that the High Court appointed him a corporate rescuer practitioner, who also owns a business and has both economic and social interests to protect.
“Having considered all the factual allegations and the magistrate’s decision in which he was misdirected on reaching the conclusion that the appellant may interfere with witness and investigations, it is determined that there are no compelling reasons to deny the appellant bail,” said Justice Munangati-Manongwa in granting Madondo bail.
Madondo had been appointed by the High Court as corporate rescue practitioner of Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Mutare, when he allegedly sold the mining rights three times.
On October 15 last year, it is alleged Madondo told Patricia Mutombgwera and Grant Chitate that he had given their company Probadeck Investments Pvt Ltd exclusive mining rights on the claims held by Redwing Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd covering 132 gold mining blocks, eight copper mining blocks and any other mining claims belonging to Redwing Mine.
On October 30 last year, it is alleged, Mutombgwera and Chitate, acting upon that information, signed a joint venture relationship agreement with the mining company represented by Madondo believing that their company had secured exclusive mining rights.
Both parties went on to register a tribute agreement with the registrar of deeds to make their joint venture agreement operational.
Probabadek Investments allegedly paid US$60 000 corporate rescue fees into Madondo’s personal company, Tudor House Consultants, and made a capital expenditure amounting to US$200 000.
It is alleged that sometime in November 2020, Madondo prepared another memorandum of tribute agreement with Prime Royal (Pvt) Ltd giving them the same mining blocks which he had ceded to Probadek.
On December 1, Madondo entered into another memorandum of tribute agreement with Betterbrands Mining (Pvt) Ltd giving them the same mining blocks, the court heard.