17 June 2018
A HARARE magistrate on Friday dropped charges against a South African investor after it emerged that the complainant had made false claims.
Magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura discharged Dharmesh Nagar, who was embroiled in a Zanu-PF regalia supply saga, at the close of state’s case following a successful application by his lawyer Jonathan Samkange.
Nagar was dragged to court after the complainant, Patience Chivasa reported him of fraud and forgery.
The businessman’s Zimbabwean business interests collapsed after a protracted battle to secure payment from Chivasa, who owed him $20 000.
Chivasa then filed charges of forgery and fraud against Dharmesh claiming that the businessman, in order to strengthen his case, had allegedly accessed and edited one of her e-mails purporting she owed him money.
But court ruled it was clear the charges against Nagar were fabricated by the complainant, who was warned against intimidating investors and bringing the name of the ruling party into disrepute.
The magistrate ruled that Chivasa failed to give any reliable evidence in her testimony before the court in relation to Zanu-PF regalia and contracts promised to Nagar’s firm.
Chivasa was using Zanu-PF’s name to intimidate the South Africa based businessman.
Chivasa and Nagar had entered into a deal to supply Zanu-PF party-regalia but the transaction did not materialise.
At the time, Chivasa was owing Nagar $20 000 and failed to pay the money since 2015 prompting Nagar to file a criminal docket against her.
“It boggles one’s mind to think why the matter took too long to be reported against the accused and the court could only lean on the accused side after listening to the evidence by the state. The state failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the court finds the accused not guilty. He is hereby acquitted and discharged at the close of state’s case,” she ruled.
Through his lawyer, Nagar was denying the charges and argued that Chivasa made false allegations after he unearthed her underhand dealings.
She also admitted she was convicted for failing to pay back money owed to Nagar.
Court ruled it was clear that Chivasa’s version of forgery was highly inconsistent and designed to avoid paying Nagar.
The magistrate was convinced that Samkange proved that Chivasa was bitter and used this as a tactic to deter Nagar from getting the payments.
Chitumbura said the court found no evidence that Nagar had “hacked and forged her email.
The court said the fact that Chivasa failed to produce the alleged forged documents weighed against her rendering her accusations unreliable.