PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s protégé and fuel mogul, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, has been slapped with a $3,6 million lawsuit for illegally using fuel trucks belonging to the President’s ally, Justice Mayor Wadyajena.
Tagwirei, a known Zanu PF benefactor who runs Sakunda Holdings and has been bankrolling government’s command agriculture programme, according to summons filed by Wadyajena, used trucks belonging to Mayor Logistics (Pvt) Ltd without the ruling party’s Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator’s consent and this resulted in a $3,6 million loss of business.
“In refusing to release the said trucks, defendants (Tagwirei and Sakunda) were fully aware that plaintiff (Mayor Logistics) was in the transportation business and that the trucks were plaintiff’s source of income and profit,” Wadyajena’s firm said.
“During the period defendants unlawfully possessed and used plaintiff’s trucks, on average, plaintiff was realising monthly income and profit of $14 812,12 from hiring out each of the said four trucks. Owing to defendant’s unlawful possession and use of plaintiff’s trucks, plaintiff was deprived of income and accordingly suffered damages at the rate of $14 812,12 per truck per month.”
The business mogul, who has interests in mining through Africa Chrome Fields, agriculture and fuel industry, was accused by Wadyajena of “unlawfully refusing to release the four trucks, comprising four horses and tankers” that were owned by his company.
Mayor Logistics further said on or about December 16, 2016, Tagwirei and his firm executed an agreement and in terms of which they acknowledged having unlawfully used the said trucks without the former’s consent.
“Defendants further acknowledged the plaintiff’s entitlement to damages occasioned by their unlawful possession and use of plaintiff’s trucks and agreed that computation and quantification of such damages would be a matter for claim and determination at a future date,” Wadyajena’s firm said.
“Plaintiff has since computed and quantified the aforesaid damages in the sum of $3 611 195,24 in terms of the schedule attached hereto and the said some being the total damages by way of loss of income and profit suffered by the plaintiff between July 2012 and December 2016 in respect of the four trucks.
“Despite demand, the defendants have failed and/or neglected to pay the sum of $3 611 195 as claimed by plaintiff. Defendants have unnecessarily put plaintiff to the expense of litigation despite being fully aware of their obligations. Defendant’s conduct requires censure by an order for costs on the legal practitioner and client scale.”
This is not the first time that the youthful Zanu PF MP, who is also the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, has had issues with the fuel magnate, as early this year, Mnangagwa had to intervene to end a dispute which involved $7 million.
Tagwirei alleged that Wadyajena was out to extort him, but the MP said the money was for termination of business deals the two had before their relationship turned sour.
The matter is pending.