HomeBusiness DigestUKI, Paz court battle rages on

UKI, Paz court battle rages on

Shakeman Mugari

UKUBAMBANA Kubatana Investments (UKI) says it is consulting with its lawyers, Dube, Manikai and Hwacha, to recover legal costs incurred in a case against the Privatisatio

n Agency of Zimbabwe (Paz).

UKI this week said it would however not revive its bid to secure the 67,7% government stake in former Astra Holdings Ltd (Astra) companies as widely speculated.

“The matter that was before the Supreme Court is now closed as there is no superior court than the Supreme Court,” group public relations executive Regis Nyamakanga said in an interview.

He said the company was now consulting its lawyers with the intention of recovering costs incurred during the tender process and the legal battle against Paz.

The battle dragged on for three years. Nyamakanga said: “UKI and other bidders incurred costs on the bids and given that Paz has no legal standing we are consulting with our lawyers on what options are open for us regarding a remedy to this commercial injury.”

UKI managing director Tendai Mundawarara confirmed that the company’s lawyers were considering taking legal action against Paz. He said: “The case has not been closed. In fact we will be in court soon. I can confirm that the lawyers are working on “something interesting”. I cannot reveal names of the defendants because it is still a sensitive matter. What I can say though is that we are working on a case that has an interesting angle to it.”

The latest developments make this the third twist to the three-year-old court battle between government, Paz and UKI.

Paz had appealed against an earlier High Court ruling that the agency was liable to be sued.

The High Court also ordered the agency to announce the tender results.

With direct instruction from the president’s office Paz then appealed to the Supreme Court which subsequently overturned the High Court ruling.

The Supreme Court ruled that UKI had erred in suing Paz as it was not an autonomous organisation that could sue or be sued.

Analysts say the State was no longer interested in disposing of its majority stake in the three companies which are performing well on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

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