A MASVINGO businessman has appealed to Vice-President Joseph Msika to help him in his loan dispute with the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (
IDBZ) and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Kudzai Mbudzi, the managing director of Treasure Consultants (Pvt) Ltd (TCL), a property development firm, appealed to
Msika in August in a bid to force Chinamasa and IDBZ to comply with court orders that his company be paid a $150 billion buyout price for the TCL’s 2 000-unit housing scheme in Masvingo.
The matter arises from the fact that in 2005 IDBZ agreed to fund TCL’s Runyararo South West housing project in Masvingo. IDBZ however failed to fulfil its part of the contract and gave TCL $81 billion instead of the $90,5 billion which the parties had agreed on.
Mbudzi said the project therefore faced problems.
Chinamasa then appointed an administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimba of Global Accountants, to run TCL, arguing that the company was insolvent.
IDBZ had agreed upon an “arbitrated and negotiated” reconstruction scheme to buy out TCL from the housing scheme and pay $150 billion.
Chinamasa approved the scheme and the figures which were determined by an independent evaluator.
In a letter dated August 22 2007, Mbudzi accused Chinamasa and IDBZ of “secretly” and unlawfully placing TCL under reconstruction before seizing the housing scheme.
“Under normal circumstances Chinamasa should have afforded me an opportunity to be heard, or at least hear my own side of the story, before placing my company under reconstruction,” said Mbudzi in a letter to Msika.
Mbudzi, who is also the Zanu PF’s secretary for information and publicity in Masvingo province, said TCL was not insolvent and accused Chinamasa of refusing to engage his company to get its side of events.
“My numerous verbal and written requests and appeals to the Minister and IDBZ to reverse the Reconstruction Scheme and afford me a fair opportunity to pay whatever I owed the bank were turned down,” Mbudzi said.
Mbudzi took the matter to the High Court and won the case. Chinamasa, Gwaradzimba and IDBZ were the respondents.
“This whole process up to date took a total of 11 months. When finally IDBZ was asked to comply with the Scheme of Reconstruction, as now ordered by the High Court, we are told that they have no money to pay for the project and would therefore not be compelled to do so, irrespective of all the foregoing and standing court orders at whose instance they were issued,” Mbudzi said.
Mbudzi also told Msika that he did not want to embarrass government by having the courts enforce the arbitrated reconstruction, as he was a war veteran and a senior Zanu PF politician.
“Your Excellency, I am an ex-combatant and a very senior member of the party and would therefore not want the court (to) enforce (the) Scheme of Reconstruction through legal means as that would tarnish the image of both the government and the party at this critical moment on the eve of a landmark national election.”
Chinamasa could not be reached for comment.
Mbudzi also attached copies of his court application in the letter to Msika.
“The cumulative effect of third respondent’s conduct, to wit, breach of contractual commitments by each of and/or refusing to disburse funds timeously or scaling down applicant’s requests, resulted in delays in completing certain phases of the project,” read Mbudzi’s court application.
Mbudzi accused IDBZ of plotting to seize the housing project from TCL by deliberately starving the company of funds required to complete the project.
“The conclusion is therefore inescapable that the 3rd respondent (IDBZ), from the beginning posed and positioned itself to unilaterally taking over the project without paying compensation to applicant (Mbudzi), hence its taking over direct management of the project and also its flagrant breach of the domestic quasi-judicial arrangements, and in ways subvert common business ethics at the expense of the rights of prospective beneficiaries of the project,” Mbudzi said.