THE National Merchant Bank (NMB) has been dragged to court facing allegations of fraud after the institution allegedly connived with three accused persons to use tittle deeds of a property owned by Jackstone Investments to secure a US$350 000 loan.
The other accused persons MacDonald Gutu, a director of Builders Depot (Pvt) Ltd, Munyika Chitando of NMB Bank Limited and Vanani Simon Nyangulu of vs Nyangulu and Associates Legal Practitioners appeared before Harare magistrate Peter Mahwe last week facing fraud .
Mahwe remanded the trio to June 30 on US$300 bail each.
The bank, which was represented by Aylwin Tafadzwa Tonderai Chinyoka, the head of recoveries, appeared in court on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Peter Kachirika told the court that in March 2012 Gutu approached NMB Southerton branch to secure a business loan. The bank asked him to submit a US$300 000 mortgage bond.
Around the same period, one of the directors of Jackstone Investments approached Gutu, who is his friend, seeking a loan of US$20 000 and was informed of the loan facility resulting in the complainant offering title deeds of his house in Strathaven as surety in respect of the US$20 000 he required.
The state alleges that in July 2012 Gutu took the title deed of Jackstone Investments to NMB where they were accepted. Gutu then took blank surety ship forms to the complainant for signing.
It is alleged in the same month Gutu and Chitambo connived to forge the complainant’s signature to pass a bond purporting that Jackstone Investments (Pvt) Limited had appointed Nyangulu and Associates law firm as their legal representatives in the registration and passing of a mortgage bond for US$200 000 in favour of NMB Bank.
Chitambo allegedly issued the power of attorney, falsely witnessing that he had seen the complainant signing it.
On August 6 2012, the mortgage bond was registered for an unlimited guarantee-ship by Nyangulu for NMB in Gutu’s favour, who then allegedly accessed a US$350 000 facility without the Jackstone’s investment consent. Thereafter Gutu gave the complainant US$16 000 cash and US$3 500 worth of building materials. The complaint is said to have paid back to Gutu the US$20 000 he borrowed, but did not get his title deeds back.
However, when Gutu failed to pay back the US$350 000 to the bank, NMB approached the High Court through Nyangulu and Associates with a civil claim on June 29 2015 against Gutu’s company and Jackstone Investments, to recover its money.
It is at that point that the complainant discovered that Gutu had used his property to borrow US$350 000 and before lending him nearly US$20 000, it is alleged.