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Three former partners at the now defunct law firm, Cheda and Partners, are being sued by a local burial society for allegedly defrauding it of more than $12 000.

Sindiso Mazibisa, Mlamuli Ncube and Nqobizitha Ndlovu, allegedly collected $14 845, 25 from one Leonora Moyo on behalf of Maphaneni Burial Society and pocketed it instead of retaining only $2 045, 25 in legal fees.

In papers filed at the Bulawayo High Court last week, the three lawyers at the former top Bulawayo law firm, were cited as the defendants while Maphaneni Burial Society is the plaintiff.

The burial society, through its lawyers Calderwood, Bryce Hendrie and Partners, accused the trio of defrauding it of $12 800.

The society wants the defendants to reimburse the money with an interest of five percent per year calculated from October 30, 2014, when they collected the funds from Moyo.

The burial society is also claiming the cost of suit at attorney-client scale.

“Sometime in 2013, the plaintiff instructed the defendants to collect the sum of $10 000 from a third party, Leonora Moyo together with interest and legal costs due by Moyo to the plaintiff,” said the burial society’s lawyers.

The lawyers said acting on the instructions, Mazibisa, Ncube and Ndlovu collected $14 845, 25 of which $12 800 was for the burial society while the rest was theirs as legal fees.

“In terms of the mandate given to the defendants they were supposed to collect the money and pay it over to the plaintiff subject to payment by Maphaneni Burial Society of the defendants’ legal fees which amounted to $2 045, 25. The defendants were obliged to pay the plaintiff $12 800,” said Maphaneni Burial Society’s lawyers.

They said Ncube, Mazibisa and Ndlovu have failed to pay the money.

“Despite demand, and in breach of their duty to the plaintiff, the defendants have failed to pay the money,” said the lawyers.

The three defendants have not yet filed a notice to enter an appearance to defend the summons.

Last week, a Bulawayo home seeker filed a lawsuit against Ncube after he allegedly defrauded him of more than $12 000.

Ncube, who was in court recently on unrelated fraud charges, allegedly claimed to have the power of attorney to sell a house in Emganwini suburb. The house was registered in Susan Nyathi’s name.

In February, Ncube was also sued for $46 500 by local businessman after he was also allegedly implicated in another failed house deal.

Cheda and Partners ceased operating on May 15 and had been under curatorship since February 5 after the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), the legal profession regulator, detected alleged abuse of trust funds running into hundreds of thousands of dollars at the law firm.

One of the cases involves the alleged theft of $335 000 by Mazibisa which was held in trust.

Cheda and Partners was a top rate law firm in Zimbabwe with its head office in Bulawayo and branches in Gwanda and Victoria Falls.

The firm was established in 1992 by its founding partner, the former senior Bulawayo High Court Judge, Maphios Cheda.

Source : The Herald