Partner sues Munyeza and business associates for US$20m

FORMER chief executive officers of Africa Sun and and Telecel Zimbabwe, Shingi Munyeza and Francis Mawindi respectively and their two business associates have been sued by a former business partner for US$20 million for alleged breach of contract.

Hazel Ndebele

Tom Nyandoro, founder of Convergent Communications Technologies (CCT), filed papers at the High Court on July 13 against Munyeza, Mawindi, Tapiwa Matambo, Philip Muchemwa as well as Kingvile Investments, accusing them of appropriating his business idea and plan.

But in response Munyeza reported a case of fraud with the Criminal Investigations Department’s Serious Fraud Squad accusing Nyandoro — a United States-based businessman — of swindling him of US$15 000.

According to the High Court case number 6531/15, Nyandoro and CCT are claiming damages from Munyeza, Mahwindi, Matambo and Muchemwa consisting of US$12 million for breach of contract, US$5 million for “pure economic loss arising from the defendants’ unlawful competition by engaging in wrongful interference with the plaintiff’s trade or business”.

He is also demanding US$3 million “for breach of the fiduciary duties owed by the defendants”.

According to the summons, Nyandoro came up with a business idea involving the setting up of a new 4G LTE/fibre/triple-play/IPTV network in Zimbabwe, South Africa and other targeted markets.
Nyandoro then entered into a business partnership with the defendants and incorporated CCT with Munyeza, Mawindi, Matambo and Muchemwa as directors upon signing contracts which stated that none of the parties would appropriate the business idea and business plans for private benefit.

Nyandoro said he agreed with Munyeza that he would invest US$100 000 in return for 5% shareholding which would also entitle him to directorship. The money was supposed to be deposited into a CCT bank account.

The defendants were supposed to introduce CCT to a South African business group, Jasco Group, to initiate the provision of the Jasco-managed Nokia LTE RAN/EPC/IMS/volte supporting elements.

“Unknown to CCT and Nyandoro and in breach of the aforesaid contracts, the defendants decided to appropriate the business idea and business plan for their own separate benefits and decided that Kingvile Investments would be the company to implement the business idea and business plans hitherto under the exclusive preserve of the first plaintiff (CCT),” reads Nyandoro’s application.

“… (They) contacted Jasco Group and misrepresented that the first plaintiff (CCT) was no longer the vehicle for the dealings involving the business idea and business plan and introduced fifth defendant (Kingvile Investments) as the new vehicle.”
The defendants then allegedly resigned from CCT while pursuing the same business plan with Kingvile.

Contacted for comment, Munyeza yesterday said: “He (Nyandoro) has no mandate to sue fellow shareholders for breaches that are only imagined by him, therefore we will not only defend this matter, but we will ask for its dismissal immediately so he can face a more serious matter of fraud which will have its next hearing on August 12, 2015.

“Nyandoro is a fraudster who we only discovered after I was duped of US$15 000. We also discovered that he had done the same in Bahamas where he left under very suspicious circumstances.
“There has been no breach whatsoever on our resignations as directors to CCT; we are still shareholders of the same company. I guess he will need to prove both the breach and the damages he suffered.”

Nyandoro, however, said the fraud case reported by Munyeza was based on trumped up charges.

Yesterday Munyeza through his lawyers requested the High Court for additional information to enable him and other defendants to file their opposing papers.

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