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Pfugari estate wrangle rages on

By Desmond Chingarande

The ownership wrangle over the estate of the late property mogul Edward Nyanyiwa, popularly known as Eddies Pfugari, was heard at the High Court on Thursday, with the deceased’s younger children seeking to dislodge their elder brother Edward Jnr from managing the business empire.

The late Eddies Pfugari and his wife
The late Eddies Pfugari and his wife (Pictures by Roselyne Sachiti)

Pfugari, one of the pioneers of Zimbabwe’s black economic empowerment crusade, died on February 10 last year at his Milton Park home in Harare aged 82, leaving behind a massive business empire and assets worth an estimated US$30 million.

The matter was heard before High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu, where Nyanyiwa’s disgruntled children, led by Stephen, were challenging Edward Jnr’s claim of a 50% stake in the 13 companies left behind by their father.

Fighting on Stephen’s side are his siblings Naumi, Itai, Henrietta and Pfugari’s two widows Nancy and Hazel.

They accused Edward Jnr of having forged documents to grab a 50% stake of the estate.

Edward Jnr was Pfugari’s first born with his first wife, a South African he married after migrating to the neighbouring country in 1952 before coming back to Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, in 1962.

The late Eddies Pfugari
The late Eddies Pfugari (Pictures by Roselyne Sachiti)

In his application, Stephen accuses the E Pfugari Estate of selling properties belonging to Squires Soft (Private) Limited, namely 137 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, without following procedure.

“The transfer of title deed to the new buyer is imminent since (the other shareholder Clever) Mandizvidza has confirmed the sale.

“The sale is based on an ill-gotten company resolution purportedly passed by E Pfugari Estate, which never passed a resolution to dispose of this asset,” Stephen submitted.

“The applicant stands to lose his inheritance and would not want to be associated with illegal sanctions to plunder deceased assets to the detriment of the other innocent beneficiaries through fraudulent resolutions. The deceased left behind his personal assets which can be sold to meet the alleged Master of High Court fees without selling disputed company assets,” he further submitted.

The estate of the late Eddies Pfugari
The estate of the late Eddies Pfugari (Pictures by Roselyne Sachiti)

But Edward Jnr said the application by Stephen was fatally defective.

“The applicant has no locus standi to file this application. He is neither a director nor a shareholder of either the third (Eddies Pfugari Properties (Private) Limited or fourth respondent (Squires Loft (Pvt) Limited),” he said.

“The late Mr Nyanyiwa was a 50% shareholder in the third respondent. I own the 50% shareholding in the company. It is only the first respondent (Mandizvidza) and I who could lawfully attend a general meeting for the third respondent,” he argued.

After coming back to his native country in 1962, Pfugari married his second wife Mildred Nhliziyo, the mother of Naumi, Itai, Henrietta and Stephen.

He also had two other wives, Nancy and Hazel, who are also claiming legal rights to part of the estate. The last two had no children with the late businessman. NewsDay