Businessman and former advisor to ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, Munyaradzi Kereke, has accused influential individuals of abusing state institutions to tear down his business empire.
Taurai Mangudhla/Kudzai Kuwaza
In an interview with businessdigest on Wednesday, following claims he was planning to declare his Rockfoundation Medical Centre Hospital (RMC) insolvent, Kereke said some politicians were using their muscle to pressure him into disposing of his business.
He said politicians last year sent the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) which made estimates on tax arrears for the hospital at around US$3 million, an act which he intends to challenge in the High Court.
“How do you declare insolvency when your debtors out-scrap your creditors,” Kereke said.
He said while the hospital was owed about US$1 million, the public sector accounts for the bulk of the funds.
“We are owed US$500 000 by PSMAS (Premier Service Medical Aid Society) which is government and over US$200 000 by the City of Harare because all other hospitals do not have radiography equipment.
“The City of Harare is not in position to pay due to liquidity challenges,” said Kereke.
Other smaller debtors, he said, include First Mutual Life.
“These people are a bunch of thieves who think they are powerful; so they have sent Zimra to have us closed,” he said, adding “that hospital is there to stay, it’s not going anywhere.”
“As far as Zimra is concerned, all I can say is professionals should not be sent by thieves in town. When Zimra officials appear before the courts and are asked to validate their claims based on estimated tax assessments, I am sure it won’t be long before they back down.”
Kereke also dismissed claims he had sold his funeral parlour business, Doves Holdings, to Harare businessman Moses Chingwena.
He described claims that he had sold the funeral parlour as “dreaming”, saying these were “desperate manoeuvres” by those trying to bring him down.
“About selling any shares to Chingwena, that’s a clear falsehood.
“Chingwena can confirm this himself. Let’s watch this space and see who will have the last laugh,” Kereke declared.
Doves now comprises four strategic business units (SBUs) specialising in the provision of funeral services and funeral assurance products nationwide and globally.
Kereke has publicly clashed with Gono.
He has accused Gono of theft and abuse of funds during his term as governor and has reported this to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Gono has vigorously denied Kereke’s accusations going as far as questioning Kereke’s sanity.