BELEAGUERED financial institution Tetrad Investment Bank, which is under provisional judicial management and facing possible liquidation, is owed millions of dollars by a number of senior politicians and businesspeople, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.
Informed sources said this week among the most notable Tetrad debtors are President Robert Mugabe’s Chief of Protocol, Munyaradzi Kajese, who owes the bank US$283 000, flamboyant tycoon Phillip Chiyangwa (US$3 million), Chiyangwa’s wife (US$61 000) and Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke, who is facilitating a deal for the sale of the bank to a Russian business grouping, Horizon Capital Consortium, US$1,3 million.
Mutoko South MP David Chapfika owes US$3 700. Although the amount owed by businesswoman Sharon Mugabe was not revealed to the Independent, insiders said the Sheriff of the High Court has attached moveable property in lieu of the debt.
However, some of the debtors such as Kereke have queried the interest charged on the money they owe the bank. Sources also said attempts to attach Kereke’s property hit a brick wall after it transpired the asset which had been pledged as collateral was now bonded under provisional judicial management.
Contacted for comment this week, Chiyangwa gave a curt response: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t owe Tetrad. I don’t owe anyone anything.”
On Wednesday, Chapfika claimed that he had settled his arrears with Tetrad even if he is still listed among debtors.
“I settled that amount a long time (ago). I paid the full amount and the interest,” said Chapfika, before conceding there is an amount which is under dispute. “There must be a mistake these people are making because one time they were saying they are owed US$8 000 and another time it was US$1 000. But I’m paid up and I have the papers to prove it.”
Attempts to get hold of Kajese proved fruitless as he was unreachable on his mobile phone, while personnel at the President’s Office told this paper yesterday that he was not at work this week. Indications are that he had accompanied President Robert Mugabe on his trip to the ongoing India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi.
Tetrad Investment Bank is technically insolvent as its total liabilities exceed assets by US$26,3 million and its cumulative losses scaled US$54 million.
Several banks, including Capital, Allied and AfrAsia, have closed down while a number have collapsed since 2000 due to liquidity problems, mismanagement and protracted economic problems.