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Judge grants leave for class action against diplomat’s Ponzi Scheme

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Judge grants leave for class action against diplomat’s Ponzi Scheme


Garikai Mafirakureva
HARARE – The Commercial Division of the High Court of Zimbabwe, Judge Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba yesterday granted an order to bring a class action against Shamiso Fred and her African Business Women’s Association.
Fred, a former honorary diplomat in Asia was also the African Business Women Association (ABWA) Chief Executive Officer who ran an alleged Ponzi scheme. This becomes the first class action in Zimbabwe involving hundreds of applicants against a Ponzi Scheme.
Blaman Sekete who is the first applicant was appointed to represent other victims in the class action and in terms of section 7 (l) (a) of the Class Action Act [Chapter 8: 17], is required to publish a notice in two newspapers circulating within Zimbabwe on three (3) different dates, once in each newspaper.
He is also required to publish once in the Sunday Times, a newspaper circulating within the United Kingdom by July 8, 2024, and to broadcast in Ndebele, Shona and English on Radios and Televisions in Zimbabwe once for each language.
Part of the judgement reads: “It is ordered that:- 1. Leave be and is hereby granted to the applicants in terms of the Class Actions Act [Chapter 8: 17) to bring a class action against the first and second respondents. 2. The first applicant be and is hereby appointed to represent the class of persons concerned in the class action.”
Sekete, and other victims are being represented by Jacob Mutevedzi of Clairwood Chambers who appeared with Advocate Reginald Mutero in a bid to recover millions of dollars worth of investments allegedly benefitted by Fred through a Ponzi scheme disguised as a collective investment scheme focusing on egg production and dairy farming projects.
It is alleged that on different occasions, Fred entered into multiple contracts with various persons at an agreed capital contribution for business projects, which were to run for periods ranging from 22 months to 48 months.
In return, the investors were each entitled to an agreed monthly profit share. ABWA and Fred allegedly defaulted on payment of the stipulated monthly profit share. The most affected are people in the diaspora, particularly those based in the United Kingdom, who invested amounts ranging from $2,000 to $60,000.

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