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ENG bosses fight liquidator

Dumisani Muleya

FORMER ENG Capital Investment directors, Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert Muponda, are battling to remove Reggie Saruchera as the liquidator of their collapsed business empire

on allegations of incompetence and suspected corruption.

In a recent High Court application, the ENG founders said Saruchera, of Camelsa Chartered Accounts, should be removed as the liquidator because of his “ineptitude, bungling and incompetence”.

Watyoka and Muponda, who were arrested last December for alleged fraud involving over $60 billion, said Saruchera had been doing his work in a “haphazard and reckless” manner. They alleged he was selling assets at prices which would not benefit creditors but the buyers, who in some cases were known by himself alone.

Watyoka and Muponda are currently on bail but it is believed that the latter has skipped the border.

The ex-ENG bosses said the liquidator’s approach was exposed in the disposal of 309 million Century Holdings shares held by ENG. They said the deal was riddled with irregularities and want Saruchera probed.

The Century shares were sold at a special bargain of $10 each through Fidelity Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd on May 12, it was alleged. Saruchera, they said, sold the shares at a low price “in the knowledge” that a cautionary was coming the following day. This was designed, they alleged, to help the buyer, only known to Saruchera, to make a huge profit or get a full cost recovery because the share price was bound to rise soon after the deal.

After the transaction, they said, the share went up to $14, leaving the buyer with “a profit of $2,8 billion” after he purchased the shares for $3 billion.

The ENG founders said Saruchera used privileged information in the deal. Watyoka and Muponda said the Century share deal was highly prejudicial because they had bought the shares for about $25 billion, only for them to be sold for $3 billion, resulting in a $22 billion prejudice to creditors’ claims.

The ex-ENG bosses said the shares could have been offered to some of the 72 creditors who had accepted shares in lieu of a dividend. They said they had written many letters to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the Master of High Court imploring them to investigate the issue, without success.

However, Saruchera, in his opposing affidavit last month, said Watyoka and Muponda had no locus standi in the case. He said their problem was that they believed they were “shadow liquidators” and wanted him to “dance to their tune”.

Saruchera also said their application was motivated by “personal greed”. He said the applicants lacked “clear appreciation of the obligations and duties of the liquidator”.

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