THE High Court has started approving claims for 3 700 Geozing Pawnbrokers Investment creditors in preparation to refund them. Hundreds of clients who had invested thousands of dollars in the company yesterday thronged the 2 000-seater Bulawayo Amphitheatre for a meeting called to discuss the modalities on how they could get their money back.
The meeting was called by the co-provisional liquidators, Mr Matshobana Ncube and Mr Philip Ndlovu, to map the way forward
Geozing Pawnbrokers Investments was three months ago placed under provisional liquidation following the granting of a High Court order by Justice Martin Makonese.
Its directors, George Zingane and his wife, Duduzile Ndlovu, ceased to be directors.
In an interview, Deputy Master of the High Court, Mr R Antonio, said they had started the process of approving claims by Geozing Pawnbrokers creditors.
“We have started approving claims for 3 700 Geozing Pawnbrokers creditors in preparation for refunds. The verification process has been done and most of the claims have since been accepted,” he said.
Geozing has been locked in a series of battles with hundreds of its clients who have made several court applications seeking to recover their money.
Geozing Pawnbrokers collapsed in April resulting in hundreds of investors losing thousands of dollars invested with the company.
The company was promising to pay 30 percent interest on investment per month.
Meanwhile, the State and Geozing Pawnbroking Company liquidators have set 26 August as the date when they should have found a replacement for the company’s proprietor, George Zingane, to stand trial on behalf of the company.
The State led by Mr Jeremiah Mutsindikwa recently expressed concern that it had hit a snag on the case as it was failing to get a replacement to stand on behalf of Zingane for the trial to start.
On Monday, Mr Mutsindikwa and Mr Ncube, of Phulu and Ncube Legal Practitioners consented that a replacement should be found before Zingane next appears in court on 26 August.
Mr Ncube and Mr Ndlovu of Ndlovu and Associates were confirmed as Geozing Pawnbroking Company’s liquidators by the High Court last month.
The State is considering applying for a separation of trial in respect of Zingane and his company in the event that no replacement is found.
Zingane (49) of Kingston Court, Famona, in Bulawayo, is facing charges of swindling more than 100 investors of their money running into thousands of dollars.
He was arrested when some of his clients took him to court for allegedly taking deposits from them offering interest rates of up to 30 percent and failing to refund them.
Zingane, who is on $2 000 bail, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The case has been in the courts for four months.
The State would seek to prove that between March last year and March this year Zingane, with intent to defraud the complainants of their money, placed advertisements in local newspapers.
He also allegedly issued out pamphlets misrepresenting to the public that his company, Geozing Pawnbrokers, had been authorised to accept deposits from the public.
Zingane would allegedly invite people to deposit their money promising to pay 30 percent interest per month.
He would draw a contract form with his alleged clients where they would provide their identity details and the amount invested.
The complainants allegedly made different deposits during that period.
The court was told that Zingane took the money and converted it to his own use.