Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Police in Gweru have arrested a Harare ex-convict for allegedly running an illegal law firm and approaching schools misleading them that he had government authority to collect debts on their behalf.
The ex-convict, Elmon Mazengwe, who trades as Legal Wise Debt Collectors (Pvt) Limited, was arrested on Sunday following allegations of fraud, execution of property and preparing legal documents without authority.
Mazengwe (56), appeared before Gweru magistrate Tayengwa Chibanda facing charges of contravening the Legal Practitioners Act.
Chibanda said the charges Mazengwe was facing needed to be altered for the trial to continue.
“The facts on the State outline don’t match with the charge you’re facing, the facts show that you committed a very serious offence and the charge given is a lesser charge,” he said.
“However, we’ll give the State time to alter the charges to make them match the facts.”
Prosecutor Ernest Muzembi told the court that from June 1 last year to January 8 this year, Mazengwe’s company, without a lawful right whatsoever, prepared legal documents.
The company is authorised to conduct the business of collecting debts in terms of the law, but it is not a law firm.
The court heard that the company unlawfully drew and prepared nine executions of property letters, 28 summons, 39 urgent letters of demand, 94 final letters of demand and 121 letters of demand.
The firm was contracted by Gweru schools like Midlands Christian College and Anderson Adventist School.
Mazengwe is alleged to be in the habit of intimidating parents, alleging that he was a former provincial magistrate.
He would act as a lawyer and effect execution of property and prepare legal documents without the authority of the law.
Mazengwe was once arrested in 2012 for impersonating a magistrate, indecent assault and fraud.
He posed as a magistrate at the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) offices in order to assist his friends get fingerprints.