By Desmond Chingarande
A Harare magistrate yesterday removed Dynamos Football Club chairperson Benard Marriot Lusengo’s lawyer, from representing him in a fraud trial saying he was conflicted as he was involved in the matter before the court.
The State raised a red flag after Herbert Mutasa indicated that he was representing Lusengo.
Lusengo is accused of fraudulently allocating himself 51% Dynamos shareholding without a board resolution.
Mutasa is said to have played a role in the matter before the court.
Prosecutor Tapiwanashe Zvidzai told magistrate Barbara Mateko that Mutasa was the legal practitioner of Dynamos when the share issue arose and, therefore, could not represent Lusengo.
”The State is filing an application for recusal of the defence counsel. In 2010 Dynamos Football Club through its management held a meeting to look into the share allotment issue and approached a law firm where the defence counsel works. The defence counsel was then nominated to represent Dynamos in the issue where the share allotment were being shared. The defence counsel was the legal representative of Dynamos Football Club and all the issues of shares were conducted by him. The State is of the view that the defence counsel is a conflicted person.
“The knowledge he has of this matter will be a prejudicial to the State.Therefore we seek his recusal on the clear conflict,” Zvidzai submitted.
Mutasa, however, opposed the application saying Lusengo had a right to representation of his choice.
“I do not believe that the court should entertain this. This application is frivolous and vexation. I believe that for the court to entertain the matter it must analyse the case the accused is facing. The accused is facing a charge of fraud. The issue of acquisition of shares is an issue of records. The State has made bad allegations. All that the State said is there was a discussion involving the accused and his lawyer. The State is not stating what exactly happened between the two. The accused can be represented by a lawyer of his choice. There is a resolution to appoint me. This shows how Dynamos is serious in defending its chairman,” Mutasa said.
Magistrate Mateko ruled in favour of the State.
The matter was postponed to Monday for trial.
The complainant is Dynamos Private Limited represented by Robinson Rundaba, head of directors at the company. Lusengo is one of the directors at Dynamos Pvt Ltd.
It is alleged that sometime in 2008, Dynamos Pvt Ltd’s subsisting articles of association were replaced through a special resolution.
The change was of articles of association was intended to allocate shares to people who were active members of the Club during the period extending from 1963 to 1968.
The committee consisted of Rundaba, Lusengo and Casper Muzenda.
However, the committee never met and the allocation of shares and issuance of certificates was not done.
The issue was never revisited but the agreement on allocation of shares to beneficiaries still stands.
Sometime in 2019, Rundaba received a call from one Chitambo of Sakunda Holdings advising him that Lusengo had approached their company seeking sponsorship for Dynamos FC and that he was claiming to be the sole owner of the club.
Rundaba allegedly convened a meeting with Chitambo in the company of Simon Sachiti and one Nyamandwe in which Chitambo claimed that Lusengo had retracted his earlier claim and was now saying he owned 51% of the company shares.
Lusengo’s claim to Sakunda Holdings that he is the sole owner of the company prompted Rundaba to make a police report.
Investigations revealed that Lusengo had awarded himself 51% shareholding in the club without the knowledge or approval of Rundaba.
The State alleges that Lusengo’s conduct has the potential to prejudice Dynamos 51% of its shares.
The CR14, CR2 and articles of association for Dynamos will be produced in court as exhibits
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