Mawere Accuses ZSE of Double Standards

THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has been accused of double standards and allowing government to interfere with the rights of shareholders of listed companies thereby undermining irreparably the integrity of the bourse.

Last Friday government specified listed Kingdom Meikles Africa (KMAL) and subsidiary companies Tanganda Tea Company (Private) Limited, Thomas Meikles Centre (Private) Limited and Murlis Investments (Private) Limited  in a move Meikles lawyer Sternford Moyo of Scanlen and Holderness said was “unlawful, null and void”.

Home Affairs Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutseyekwa appointed Messrs Budhama Chikamhi and Cleopas Mukungunugwa as investigators of Mitchell and the specified companies.

This resulted in Kingdom Meikles Africa being suspended from the ZSE.

In a letter to ZSE chief executive Emmanuel Munyukwi this week businessman Mutumwa Mawere said the local bourse should undertake a serious review of its actions since the specification of his companies in 2004 which continued to trade.

“As you are aware, SMM was the controlling shareholder of a number of listed companies,” said Mawere in the letter. “After more than five years, it is not too late for the ZSE to reflect on its actions to see if the allegation that by its silence and complicity, the ZSE has encouraged the government of Zimbabwe to continue the behaviour of interfering with the rights of shareholders of listed companies and in so doing undermine irreparably the integrity of the ZSE.”

Mawere said Judge President Makarau in a matter in which the ZSE was involved has already ruled that the courts will entertain the intrusion of the state in corporate affairs using the  specification legislation.

“I was informed strangely enough by Mr Moyo of your decision to treat my case as separate from the KMAL matter and, therefore, to proceed as if nothing has happened to suspend on a selective basis the trading of the KMAL shares,” the letter said.

If this is true, please kindly inform me of the reasons supporting the decision when the factual and legal matrixes are the same.

“I am convinced that if the ZSE had taken action in 2004 when CFI and other companies connected to listed companies were specified including NMB’s shareholders and executives, the specification of KMAL’s executives and shareholders will have been nipped in the bud.”

Mawere said he informed Munyukwi of the implications of the ZSE taking a decision to suspend the trading of (KMAL) when it is common cause that when CFI was specified on  August 26 2004 under similar circumstances, the ZSE took a decision to do nothing despite his protestations.

“What I did request is that if a decision to suspend the trading of Meikles shares was to be made, then clearly all the shares of companies that were affected by the same draconian laws must also be suspended.  I also did indicate to Mr Moyo that fundamentally I have no problem with the decision to suspend trading but what I do object to is that the ZSE appears to be impotent where my rights are concerned.  Is it because the ZSE has become the judge in my case and I stand guilty until proven innocent by the courts,” he said.

Paul Nyakazeya