Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Telecel saga: Magamba co-founder blasts ‘money-hungry’ Zhuwao

By Tendai Kamhungira

HARARE – Magamba Echimurenga (Magamba) co-founder Andrew Ndlovu has lashed out at Patrick Zhuwao, saying President Robert Mugabe’s nephew was a “money-hungry” man taking advantage of his relations to the Zanu PF leader.

President Mugabe seen here with his nephew Patrick Zhuwao
President Mugabe seen here with his nephew Patrick Zhuwao

In an unsolicited interview with the Daily News yesterday, the war veterans’ leader also said the former ruling party legislator must also stop interfering with Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited (EC)’s affairs.

“We do not want Zhuwao to abuse the fact that he is Mugabe’s nephew. He is abusing the name of the president. Those powers are not coming from the president. Ari kuita zvemumusoro make ega (He is doing as he pleases). Ngatisamurege nekuti muzukuru wapresident (We must not spare him because he is the president’s nephew). We need to stop him,” Ndlovu said.

The ex-Zipra cadre’s sharp response probably emanated from the EC managing director’s contention that the former was barred from representing ex-fighters in any fora and as part of a response to Jane Mutasa’s High Court challenge.

Ndlovu, who claims to have founded Magamba with the late Chenjerai Hunzvi and Anna Paradza, said Zhuwao should not poke his nose into the Telecel Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Telecel) shareholder wrangles, as he was never part of the initial arrangement.

“He is an ex-deputy minister, those powers must be placed somewhere. Whether he has political muscle or not he has to place the powers somewhere,” Ndlovu said, adding that the ex-Zvimba North member of Parliament was working with exiled businessman James Makamba to displace other shareholders such as Mutasa, who had paid for her shares.

“Zhuwao is nothing to us. He is misdirected. He is a good young man. He must put to use his masters’ degree and learn how to handle people with respect. He must not destroy his history. We know people are hungry. If he is hungry for money, he must use other means,” he said.

Ever since Telecel was handed a “political licence” — and at the back of EC’s 40 percent stake in the mobile venture — the group has always been rocked by serious squabbles among the seven founding pressure groups, including the Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation (IBWO), Philip Chiyangwa’s Affirmative Action Group and Makamba’s Kestrel Corporation.

As it is, Mutasa’s grouping — which includes the privately-held Selpon Investments (Selpon) — is opposed to the planned sale of the interest group’s minority share in Zimbabwe’s third cellular venture.

In her court papers, Mutasa not only queries the Mugabe nephew’s bonafides and locus standi, but is also outrightly opposed to the $20 million transaction.

However, Zhuwao says he was duly empowered by the Companies Act to run EC and the appellants had duly endorsed his July 2013 appointment, hence they were wilfully misleading the courts.

As such, Mutasa and her Selpon investment vehicle were not only guilty of “moral obliquity”, but was approaching the courts with dirty hands since her family investment firm had appropriated IBWO’s nine percent shareholding in EC.

Critically, Zhuwao says the Harare businesswoman and her corner  had chosen a wrong platform to raise their grievances, as shareholder issues have always been resolved at board level, and her claims should not impede the rights of major shareholders anyway.

In his papers, prepared by Mutamangira and Associates, the youthful politician also says it was shareholders like Mutasa’s bellicose attitude that had frustrated investment in the company such that it was technically insolvent — since it had a $100 000 net asset value as at December 2014.

And as the boardroom squabbles continue, the High Court is today expected to make a ruling on whether the February 20 extraordinary general meeting — called to ratify the proposed sale — can go ahead after a handwriting expert has pored over or scrutinised Mutasa, and Selpon representative’s signatures to a resolution on Zhuwao’s appointment as EC boss. Daily News