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Mnangagwa sucked into $600 000 share dispute

Tendai Kamhungira

Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his son Emmerson Jnr have been sucked into a $600 000 shares dispute between two Harare businessmen Brian Jembere and Paris Olympios.

Emmerson Mnangagwa
Emmerson Mnangagwa

According to documents seen by the Daily News, Jembere bought $600 000 worth of shares in Olympios’ H.E.R (Private) Limited company. Mnangagwa’s wife reportedly operates a salon at H.E.R premises, which is located at number 18311 Chiremba Road in Hillside in Harare.

After Jembere snapped up the 50 percent shareholding in the company, Olympios laid a fraud charge emanating from the sale of the shares. The fraud charge was also levelled against company secretary Tichaona Muhonde and is being handled by the police’s Commercial Crime Unit.

In a letter to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Muhonde claims that Olympios is closely linked to Mnangagwa and is now using the police to abuse the country’s criminal justice system.

In the letter, dated January 6, 2015, addressed to the Harare Magistrates’ Court area public prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi, Muhonde said that Olympios had openly declared that he wanted to take over the shares from Jembere using his political links.

“Further, Olympios has openly bragged that he has the power of the Vice President (Mnangagwa) behind him hence he will be able to get his way through the system to get the shares back from Brian Jembere for free,” Muhonde said, adding that the VP’s name was being sucked into the case to achieve “unfair advantage”.

“What I know for a fact is that the wife of the VP operates a hair dressing salon at the company premises H.E.R Bonanza, which Paris Olympios has declared that she operates rent free and must not pay rent at all,” the police report says.

“Further, which I know for a fact is that Paris Olympios also imposed the VP’s child Emmerson Jnr on the company board of directors for reason best known to himself and without following procedure as other shareholders were not consulted nor did they agree to the appointment.”

He said his constitutional rights were being abused, by the “malicious” charges that were being laid against him. He said because Mnangagwa’s name has been mentioned in the case, the police were “very active and vicious” in the matter.

“My only crime is that of doing the correct thing and my job as a lawyer and secretary much to the dislike of the complainant, who now accuses me of conniving with his co-shareholder to defraud him of shares because his mother did not process the capital gains tax when she sold the shares to Brian Jembere…,” Muhonde said.

He said both parties had signed documents relating to the shares and directorship of the company and no issues had been raised, adding that the shares were transferred to Jembere in March 2013.

Muhonde, who was the H.E.R company secretary between February 2011 and November 2013, said Olympios, who owns 40 percent of shares in the company, cannot be the complainant in the matter, since the seller of the shares was his Cyprus-based mother, Nitsa.

He said the matter had previously been brought before the NPA in October last year, where it was agreed that the parties were going to resolve the company directorship issue, with the police being directed to record statements from H.E.R Bonanza tenants pertaining to their number, monthly rentals and to whom the rentals were being paid to and that the parties were supposed to comply with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Capital Gains Tax clearance process on the sale of the shares.

In court papers, the prosecution claimed that Jembere and Muhonde had connived to “fraudulently acquire share certificates of Jembere,

Olympios and that of another shareholder Ninette Agne Millar.”

According to State papers, the two failed to follow the lawful and correct Zimra procedures of acquiring share certificates.

“Furthermore, Paris also found out that the accused persons changed directorship of H.E.R (Private) Limited on the CR14, which they tendered on June 1, 2013, citing that Shabir Ahmed Omar and Emmerson Mnangagwa Jnr, had resigned from the company, while in actual fact they had not resigned because there was  no resignation letters tendered by the two said directors.

“More so, there was no extra-ordinary meeting held by the directors to replace the so-called resigned directors and all this was done without the knowledge and consent of Paris Olympios, who is one of the principal officer of H.E.R (Private) Limited,” part of the State papers reads.

Muhonde said it was clear that Olympios was lying, because he knew about the changes in the directorship of the company.

He said Olympios had signed as director on the annual return that accompanied that CR 14 to the Company Registry.

“…if the non-payment of capital gains tax is fraud, then it is Nitsa Olympios and Paris Olympios who committed fraud because they issued 50 percent shares to Brian Jembere on March 3, 2013 without processing capital gains,” Muhonde said.

Jembere’s lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba described the case as a “circus”.

The case was initially booked to be heard at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, before it was transferred to Mbare Magistrates’ Court, without proper reason being proffered.

“We raised the jurisdiction of the Mbare Magistrates’ Court and she (magistrate Anita Tshuma) agreed with us that our clients could not appear at Mbare Magistrates’ Court when they had been summoned to appear at the Harare Magistrates’ Court,” Magwaliba said.

“The magistrate took a firm position, she did not want to be part of the circus,” he said.

He said it was up to the State to resuscitate the case by issuing fresh summons, only if it understood how “useless” its case was. Daily News