Plot thickens at Kingdom

Conrad Dube

THE Kingdom Merchant Bank plot has thickened after Jayesh Shah, who was cited in Kingdom’s summons last week as a defendant, challenged the bank to provide a full reconciliation of the US$900 000

it is claiming from his Saturn Trading & Investments.


Kingdom has filed an application in the High Court to recover US$900 000 from Saturn Trading & Investments and Shah as its representative.


The bank’s lawyers, Chihambakwe, Mutizwa & Partners, claim that Saturn was “unjustly enriched” and Shah carried the company’s business “recklessly”, “negligently” or “fraudulently”.


But Shah through his lawyer Addington Chinake of Kantor & Immerman has challenged Kingdom to provide full particulars of the alleged fraud, negligence or recklessness.


According to court papers, Shah also asked Kingdom bank to prove how the overpayment arose and when the overpayment was made.


“In order for Shah to plead to plaintiff (Kingdom)’s summons and declarations the 2nd Defendant (Shah) requires further particulars on how it is alleged that Saturn was overpaid in the sum of US$900 000, a full mathematical reconciliation,” the lawyer said.


Shah has further asked Kingdom to provide full particulars of the alleged negligence, fraud and recklessness by him.


Documents in the possession of the Zimbabwe Independent however show that Kingdom paid directly into Saturn Trading’s bank account.


It has also emerged that Kingdom was yet to serve summons on Saturn domiciled in the British Virgin Islands. The summons was served on Gift Investments, a company in which Shah is a shareholder.


Kingdom, in its court papers, cited Shah as a director of Saturn but Shah has said that he is only a representative.


When contacted for comment, Shah said: “I am only a representative of Saturn Trading and Investments (BVI) Ltd and the agreement between Kingdom and Saturn confirm that.”


He however would not comment further saying it was premature to provide more details when the matter was still before the courts.


The businessman’s lawyers have also challenged Kingdom to provide copies of letters of demand made against Saturn and Shah.


“When was demand made against Saturn and Shah and what is the interest rate applicable in terms of the summons for the period October 1 2002 to date?” the court papers ask.


While the court papers filed by Kingdom say Saturn could receive repayments from third parties to whom Kingdom had lent the money, Shah’s papers challenge Kingdom to provide particulars of who overpaid the US$900 000.


Court papers to hand say in April 2002 the parties entered a contract in which Shah, through his company Saturn Trading & Investments, advanced US$4 million to Kingdom Merchant Bank for onward lending to RBZ via Renaissance Merchant Bank.