Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Lawyer in the Dock for Raiding Trust Account

A Harare lawyer Simbarashe Tsaurai appeared in court on Wednesday facing allegations of swindling US$35 000 deposited by clients in a Tsaurai, Tafirei and Chikwari Law Firm trust account.

Tsaurai (30) of Cranborne appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Mr Douglas Chikwekwe facing two counts of theft of trust property.

The first complainant in the matter was Hosiah Ncube (52).

The matter has proceeded to trial and prosecutor Mr Thomas Mabwe on Wednesday called Tsaurai’s partner, Rightman Chikwari, as a witness.

In his defence, Tsaurai told the court that the money he withdrew from the firm’s trust bank account was for his legal fees.

Chikwari disputed that the US$35 000 was for Tsaurai’s legal fees, indicating that there were no receipts to that effect.

He added that Tsaurai was not in a position to withdraw legal fees from their company’s trust account, but rather from the business account.

The State alleged that in January last year, Ncube went to Tsaurai, Tafirei and Chikwari Law Firm to engage their services to follow up on the US$25 000 he was owed by Jeffrey Joseph.

Tsaurai assisted Ncube.

On January 28, Joseph reportedly deposited US$25 000 into Tsaurai, Tafirei and Chikwari Law Firm’s NMB bank account.

Ncube inquired about developments in his matter and was allegedly aised by Tsaurai that he should collect his money from their offices.

When he went to the law firm, he was told that Tsaurai was out of the office, the court heard.

On the second count, the complainant is David Matanda (66) who, in June last year, subdivided his property at No. 53 Scott Road in Harare.

Matanda sold the subdivision to Happius Makoni through Beanpole Estate Agents for US$25 000.

It is alleged that on June 16, Matanda received a call from Tsaurai stating that he was to surrender the money to Tsaurai, Tafirei and Chikwari Law Firm’s account number pending cession of the property.

Matanda transferred US$10 000 into the law firm’s NMB account and Tsaurai allegedly withdrew the money and converted it to his personal use.

Source : The Herald