Saturday 23 December 2023

John Coll: Calling on Herbert Dzinotyiweyi to fulfil his wishes

How we learnt of it

9 years ago, a very dear friend, John Alexander Coll passed on, unfortunately, many of us who knew him did not learn of his passing until almost a month after he had gone. The executor John chose to manage his estate and contacted me late on the 21st of January 2015 and expected a response from me by the 23rd of January 2015 for the funeral planned for the 30th of January 2015.

This presented a difficulty for many who would have liked to attend John’s funeral, we found a circle of friends and eventually were able to have someone in London represent those of us who would have had to travel from afar to honour this amazing man.

The executor of John’s estate

Sadly, 9 years on, John’s estate and issues have not been resolved as he had intended, his executor Herbert Dzinotyiweyi who used to handle the accounts for the company Connection Software that John founded through the years gave everyone the impression that the estate was a very complex and tax intensive issue, it probably was.

Herbert Dzinotyiweyi who for a while lived in the UK also has Zimbabwe roots and seems to have ensconced himself beyond the reach of scrutiny of his fiduciary obligations to the beneficiaries of John’s estate.

It was in early 2019 that I acquired details of John’s will and the probate that had 10 beneficiaries once the core of the estate had been liquidated, yielding almost £800,000 which if it were judiciously divided amongst those to whom John bequeathed a largesse would have been consequential and life-changing for each of them, most located in Zimbabwe where he once had interests and in South Africa.

Our engagement with Herbert Dzinotyiweyi

I was able to gather all the beneficiaries in conference a few times in 2019 into 2020, some of whom at the time that I contacted them were unaware that John Coll had made a generous bequest to their names.

We did Herbert Dzinotyiweyi to attend some of those conferences from the safety of Zimbabwe, at which no determination was gained or made until he removed himself from the conference groups as if he had no further obligations as executor. Suspicions arose that a professional forensic analysis of the moneys accrued from the estate after probate determined that money had gone, it had not gone to any of John Coll’s intended beneficiaries.

Just account for the estate

Whilst I do not intend to impugn Herbert Dzinotyiweyi’s name, some questions need answering; an explanation as to why John’s estate that made probate in June 2015 has still not been afforded the wishes of the testator, and there is a possible dereliction of responsibility as executor that might border on criminal enterprise, but this is not to accuse anyone.

A dead man cannot fight for his good intentions and wishes, which is why they trust someone or people to administer their estate when they are gone. The fact that John’s registered will was made and witnessed just 5 days before he passed on might have limited the scope of persons to elect as executors of his will. He cannot have thought that the person he selected would not expeditiously manage his estate and adhere fully to his generous desires, 9 years on.

Pattern or sheer coincidence?

I know this is not what John intended and I can only hope that action and justice for what John Coll desired is finalised by the time of the 10th anniversary of his passing and Herbert Dzinotyiweyi willingly accounts for his superintending of John Alexander Coll’s estate as executor.

The friends of John Coll who remember him fondly as an extraordinary person of consequence in innumerable ways will continue to agitate for the full realisation of his wishes. The matter is not closed by any stretch of the imagination. May John Coll continue to rest in peace.

NB: I am not a beneficiary of John’s will, I am a friend of John’s, we met in mid-1994. Obviously, I will review and edit this blog once all of John’s wishes are fulfilled as he intended.

Meanwhile, a quick search for Herbert Dzinotyiweyi would suggest he has run into some trouble. One cannot speculate on pattern or behaviour, but it is an interesting development to discover today. [ZimNow: Harare man in court over residential stand scam]

Blog - John Coll: Friend, Mentor, Gentleman (January 2015)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are accepted if in context are polite and hopefully without expletives and should show a name, anonymous, would not do. Thanks.