HomeBusiness DigestMore trouble for former Century chiefs

More trouble for former Century chiefs

Shakeman Mugari

CENTURY Discount House (CDH)’s battle to recover billions of dollars from debtors has taken a new twist with revelations this week that the liquidator of the troubl

ed company is now suing the former chief executive of Century Holdings Ltd, Jefta Mugweni, for $41 billion.

Mugweni, a founding director of Century Holdings, will next month be taken to court together with former managing director Garainesu Shoko and 11 other senior directors and managers.

Shoko is on trial for allegedly defrauding CFX Financial Services where he was deputy managing director following the merger of CFX and Century.

The case against Mugweni and Shoko brings to 13 the number of Century directors who are being sued for their hand in the collapse of CDH.

In his initial list of officials liable for the collapse of CDH, the liquidator, Cecil

Madondo of Tudor House Consultant, had not included Mugweni and Shoko.

But he now says there is enough evidence to prove that the two are also liable to compensate the discount house as former directors of Century Holdings.

Century Holdings were owners of CDH before they sold it to ENG Asset Management. However, the supposed sale of CDH to ENG was declared “null and void” by the liquidator, making Century Holdings still the technical owners of the discount house.

This, according to the liquidator, means that directors of Century Holdings were actively involved in the management of CDH and therefore also to blame for the problems that sank the company.

Madondo wants Mugweni and Shoko to compensate the creditors for what he calls “negligence” in allowing ENG directors to do fraudulent transactions and swindle the discount house of more than $42 billion of the depositors’ funds.

ENG is now under liquidation while its directors Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert Muponda are on remand for a $61 billion fraud.

Muponda has since fled the country for the United States, leaving his co-directors to face the music alone.

The liquidator says he has found that Mugweni and Shoko played a crucial part in the collapse of CDH.

“We have found new evidence that the two (Mugweni and Shoko) played a crucial role in the collapse of CDH during their tenure as directors of Century Holdings, the proprietor of CDH,” Madondo said.

“We are now claiming $42 billion from the 13 directors and Century Holdings itself. The creditors had queried why Mugweni and Shoko were not being sued.”

In other cases due to go to court next month, the liquidator is also suing Zimbank for allegedly liquidating $4 billion worth of GMB bills held by CDH before their maturity.

In this case the liquidator is arguing that Zimbank’s move was illegal because the Finhold-owned bank did not have a prior arrangement with CDH to liquidate their GMB bills before maturity.

Meanwhile, the curator announced that he has made the second divided payout to the creditors. Another payment is expected in mid-year, said Madondo.

“Depending on the outcome of the various cases, I believe we will be able to make the third payout around June or July,” said Madondo.

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