HARARE – Harare regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa has acquitted three African Medical Investments (AMI) bosses of a $10 million fraud, after ruling that the state failed to prove a case against them.
The trio of Peter Annesley, Paul Stevenson and Mavis Mushonga walked free yesterday after Tsikwa said they had no case to answer.
They were accused of illegally taking over Vivek Solanki’s Trauma Centre and stealing his property.
“It is abundantly clear that evidence led against the accused person has failed to prove a prima facie case. Most of the allegations against accused persons have not been supported by evidence,” Tsikwa said.
Tsikwa further said that the issue was a boardroom wrangle, which the state attempted to politicise and sensationalise.
He said state witnesses did not mention that they saw anyone stealing Solanki’s property.
The State had accused Annesley of conniving with his accomplices and fraudulently getting appointed as company director in 2010.
The three denied the allegations.
Stevenson and Mushonga, who were represented by Beatrice Mtetwa, denied making any misrepresentations to the registrar of companies or submitting any fake documents.
The two denied prejudicing Solanki’s company Autoband, which owns Trauma Centre.
Innocent Musimbe, representing Annesley, said his client never benefited from any money withdrawn from the Trauma Centre’s Stanbic account.
Prosecutor Michael Reza told the court that Solanki registered his company in 2001.
Solanki appointed Stevenson and Mushonga as directors of the company before Stevenson resigned in 2009 and was replaced by Zarina Dudhia.
Solanki allegedly met AMI’s Andrew Groves and Phil Edmonds in South Africa, before entering into a business agreement.
The AMI directors allegedly offered to merge with Solanki’s businesses and assist in building hospitals and clinics in Africa.
It was alleged in the agreement Groves and Edmonds offered to pay Solanki five million British pounds and 24 million shares in AMI, which they failed to do.