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FNBS liquidator acts prematurely

Shakeman Mugari

THE chaos at the First National Building Society (FNBS) took yet another twist this week after it emerged that David Scot of PricewaterhouseCoopers – the provisional liquidator – attempte

d to illegally dispose of the society’s property without being granted the power to do so by the Master of the High Court.

It also emerged that Scot prematurely invited tenders for the sale of three of the society’s luxury vehicles before they had been placed under liquidation by the High Court.

According to regulations the disposal of the assets of a liquidated company can only be carried out with authority from the Master of the High Court. The same court should also confirm the liquidator before the liquidation.

Investigations by businessdigest also reveal that Scot’s certificate of appointment as provisional liquidator does not give him the authority to sell property belonging to FNBS.

However, in contravention of the regulations and conditions set out in his certificate of appointment, Scot went on to invite tenders for the society’s three vehicles three days before the High Court was due to make a ruling on the matter.

The tenders were to be submitted for consideration by Wednesday this week. The advertisement said a Mercedes Benz C220, Mercedes Benz E280 and a Peugeot 406 were up for grabs. The vehicles were part of the fleet used by senior managers before FNBS was shut down last year amid allegations of fraud by its two major shareholders – Samson Ruturi and Nicholas Musona. It is also understood that Scot had earlier written to the Master of the High Court on April 27 seeking leave to dispose of the vehicles. businessdigest is in possession of a letter from the Master of the High Court dated May 5 refusing to grant Scot permission to sell the three vehicles.

“Thank you very much for your letter dated 29 April 2004. I however advise that for the meantime I cannot grant authority to dispose of the motor vehicles,” said the letter from the High Court. Despite the correspondence, Scot went ahead and invited tenders for the vehicles. Scot’s attempt was foiled last week by a High Court order that threw out an application by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the liquidation.

The court also threw out an application to have Scot confirmed as the actual liquidator, making his initial attempt to sell the property illegal.

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