Businessman Seeks High Court Protection Amid Alleged Threats on Life

By Staff Reporter

Businessman Fransisco Marconati has petitioned the High Court seeking an order for protection as a whistleblower after alleging that his life is under threat after he exposed his former business partner Li Song.

According to court papers filed at the High Court on 3 April 2024, Marconati reported illicit transactions, theft of trust property, misappropriation of funds and externalization of millions of dollars of money by Li Song.

In his founding affidavit, Marconati has requested an order to assert and declare the rights and interests stemming from whistleblowing.

“This is an application for a declaratory relief brought in terms of section 14 of the High Court Act [Chapter 7:06] in order to invoke and declare rights andinterests emanating from whistleblowing that is Applicant’s active and meaningful participation in exposing crime which has been well-organized and which is also part and parcel of some of the reasons why Zimbabwe is on its knees economically.”

According to the businessman, this is not the first time approaching the High Court  seeking protection after reporting against Li Song.

” It is not the first time for me to approach this court requiring the declaration of my rights pertaining to cases that I have reported against Li Song, who, ever since I reported has not been tried or remanded in the least…

” Of all the cases I have reported, nothing has been tried. Some of the cases have been overtaken by events and transferred to different police stations thus causing a change in circumstances, and as such, for purposes of establishing the cause of action for this present application, some of the issues maybe highlighted, however, it is my averment that this present application is based entirely on different circumstances which materially establish the need for my protection as a whistleblower.”

“It is also my understanding that the government of Zimbabwe through the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (2020-2024), indicated the need to have legislation on witness protection and whistleblower and other progressive entities like the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) have developed lay/shadow bills which were forwarded to 7th Respondent but all are yet to be placed before parliament for deliberation.

“Despite the fact that there is no designated legislation at present dealing with protection of witnesses and whistleblowers, the court is beseeched to exercise its inherent jurisdiction and in the process of interpreting and determining the rights and interests sought for enforcement in this application, to refer to international law which I have outlined in paragraph 3 and the common law position arising from the fact that my life is under threat and that I have a right to personal security and life, and order the protection of my person and that of my family through directing entities dealing with all cases I am involved in to ensure that my cases I finalized within a reasonable time.”

Marconati cited the Prosecutor General, the District Public Prosecutor(Harare Criminal Court –Rotten Row), Commissioner General Of Police, Officer -In-Charge-Donington Police Station Bulawayo, Officer-In-Charge –CID Commercial Crimes Division Harare and Minister Of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs as respondents.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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