TOP Harare lawyer, Simplisius Julius Chihambakwe, is facing a US$154 000 theft of trust property storm.
Chihambakwe appeared before Harare magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa, yesterday accused of diverting trust money, which was intended to pay for the fees due to the Master of the High Court, in order to finalise the winding up of two deceased estates.
Chihambakwe was executor of the two deceased estates.
The complainant is Tsungirirayi Banga Mandizvidza.
She is a beneficiary to the estate of her late parents, Chrispen Purisa Mandizvidza and Auxillia Maema Mandizvidza.
On March 20, 2014, the beneficiaries resolved to sell some of the properties to settle fees due to the Master of the High Court.
This was meant to finalise the winding up of the deceased estates.
The sale raised US$154 311, which was entrusted to Chihambakwe.
He, however, allegedly allocated the trust money to files used to offset outstanding legal fees, ignoring the beneficiaries’ instructions.
Tsungirirayi had to use her own funds to pay the Master’s fees.
No money has been recovered.