James Makamba wins Telecel shareholding battle in a High Court ruling
The High Court of Zimbabwe has dismissed an application by a war veteran-based organisation Magamba Echimurenga Housing Trust which claimed it owned a 24 percent shareholding in the company. The shares saga has been ongoing for a few years now and it was a chance by covetous office-bearers to take over the exiled businessman’s sweat.
Justice Edith Mushore, in a recent judgement, dismissed the claim with costs.
“Whereupon, after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that: application be and is hereby dismissed with costs on an attorney client scale,” Mushore ruled.
Magamba Echimurenga Housing Trust claimed to own 24 percent shareholding in Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited, the indigenous group that owns shares in Telecel Zimbabwe.
Cited as respondents in the application was Makamba, his company Kestrel Corporation (Private) Limited, Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited, Jane Mutasa, Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation, Selpon Investments (Private) Limited, Carlton Consultancy (Private) Limited, lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa, Telecel and former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security minister Supa Mandiwanzira.
The housing cooperative said the government of Zimbabwe fostered a thrust to empower its citizens through an indigenisation economic policy. This allowed indigenous groups and entities to take part in the creation of a third cellular network, which resulted in the formation of Telecel.
“Thus, several indigenous groups and individuals, responded to the government clarion call and empowerment drive for the upliftment of the indigenous businesses in the telecommunications industry,” read part of the application.
According to court papers, the companies that formed part of the business included Makamba’s Kestrel Corporation, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association led by the late Chenjerai Hunzvi, Jane Mutasa’s Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation, Leo Mugabe’s Integrated Engineering Group and the Phillip Chiyangwa’s Affirmative Action Group (AAG), among other entities.
The court heard indigenous groups responded to the government quest for indigenisation of the economy in 1997 and these acted as promoters for the birth of the Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited.
“It will be just and equitable that this honourable court declares the plaintiff as the lawful owner of 24 percent shareholding in the third defendant. The director, Andrew Ndlovu, was denied the benefits of a director of the third defendant by not being paid sitting board allowances and other benefits attendant with the office of a director of the third defendant,” the court heard.
The firm further sought an order barring Makamba from continuously disposing shares in Telecel. The respondents however, challenged the application and prayed for its dismissal, arguing that it was not brought according to the rules of the court.
“Definitely, the applicant has adopted the wrong procedure to achieve its intention. The present application should be struck off if not dismissed for being unprocedural,” the court was told.
The judge upheld the arguments by the respondents.
Article Originally appeared on Makamba Online : By Gesture Chidhanguro