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Imperial appeals against High Court ruling

Roadwin Chirara

IMPERIAL Asset Management has appealed against a High Court judgement which sought to auction its movable properties attached by CFX Bank curator, Fungai Kuipa, over a $3 billion debt owed by

the firm.

Kuipa had earlier obtained a High Court ruling to attach Imperial’s assets after the firm failed to pay its debt to CFX.

In June Kuipa attached six vehicles belonging to Imperial worth $3 billion.

The vehicles include a Nissan Patrol, two Isuzu KB320, a Peugeot 406 and a Mercedes Benz E230, all belonging to the company’s top executives.

The curator was planning to have the property auctioned to recover funds

which he claimed the asset manager had gained from the illegal sale of its Treasury bills.

Three of the vehicles, the Mercedes Benz and the two Isuzu KB320, were due to go under the hammer at a public auction tomorrow.

However, Imperial has appealed to the High Court to block the sale. Imperial chairman Mischeck Nyamupingidza confirmed the closed asset manager had appealed against the proposed sale of its assets.

He said the company had instructed its lawyers to take appropriate action against claims brought by the curator of CFX Bank.

“The matter has mostly to do with an interbank transfer but I am not well informed about the matter,” Nyamupingidza said.

He said the former Imperial board was holding weekly meetings to assess progress made on the case and the winding down of its operations.

“We have now resorted to holding weekly meetings to assess progress on the matter and the winding down of the operations of the company, but the guys at the office are in a better position to give you more details on the matter,” said Nyamupingidza.

The dispute between the two financial institutions arises from a series of investments made by Imperial in CFX between November 18 and December 13 2004.

The investments were due to mature by December 15, at an interest of 100% and 110% respectively, but the situation was complicated by problems at CFX. Executives of the two firms agreed to have $2,3 billion deposited into the personal current account of Imperial managing director, Shadreck Vera, held with the bank.

During the course of its investment in CFX, Imperial had been given four Treasury bills valued at $2,94 billion by the bank as surety.

Imperial however sold the TBs for $1,46 billion after news of the threatened closure of the bank.Imperial’s asset management licence was withdrawn by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after it had been found to be operating outside its mandate.

The central bank suspected that the company was engaged in illegal operations after it failed to account for all its moneys.

At the time of closure, Imperial had an investment book totaling over $13 billion, with 99% of it on the money market.

At least $120 million was held in equities.

The company has however paid out investor funds and plans to pay out a dividend to its shareholders on conclusion of its operations.

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