Makamba, Mlotshwa bury hatchet

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PROMINENT Lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa and businessman James Makamba are said to have resolved their differences over the Empowerment Corporation (EC) 40% shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe which a cabinet minister confirmed were simmering.

By Melody Chikono /Hazel Ndebele

The two were part of a Telecel board meeting on Wedenesday.

In the past two weeks this paper reported that tension was brewing between the two businessmen after sources told this publication that Makamba was disputing ceding his shares to his lawyer Mlotshwa over legal fees, insisting he was only his legal counsel.

Minister of Information Communication and Technology Supa Mandiwanzira recently confirmed the dispute, but said government was distancing itself from the new fight.

“We have been approached by so many entities claiming shareholding in Empowerment Corporation and as government we have not sought to entangle ourselves in the disputes,” Mandiwanzira said.

“What we have advised is that those who feel short changed must approach the courts for redress.

“As for a dispute between Makamba and Mlotshwa; Makamba came to my office and told me that he had not sold any of his shares and that Mlotshwa was only his legal counsel.”

Mlotshwa last year emerged a Telecel shareholder after he secured part of Makamba’s 40% shareholding following reports that the controversial tycoon had sold his stake in Empowerment Corporation (EC) to a local consortium that included Mlotshwa and businessman George Manyere.

However, Mlotshwa yesterday said Telecel held a board meeting in Wednesday in which Makamba was present and managed to map a way forward for the company.

“There was a board meeting yesterday. The meeting went on extremely well. There are no issues between myself and Makamba, and shareholders.

“We are now focused on recapitalising the company, improving its market share and introducing new products in the market,” Mlotshwa said

The board meeting was attended by Francis Mawindi, Selby Hwacha, James Makamba, Jane Mutasa, Barbara Rwodzi and Mlotshwa.

Makamba remains Telecel board chairperson.

Makamba, a former Zanu PF MP and central committee member, fled the country in 2005 after he was accused of allegedly externalising some funds, although it is widely believed the real problem was social, involving Mugabe’s family.

The mystery of who really owns the EC 40% shares in Telecel Zimbabwe remains unsolved as a court case is pending in that regard.

Last month Mlotshwa, Makamba and Mutasa as well as the ministry were taken to court by a group of war veterans over a dispute on disposal of Telecel shares

The war veterans, Magamba eChimurenga Housing Trust, approached the High Court seeking an interdict to stop trade in shares reportedly held by an assortment of individuals and investment vehicles.

Meanwhile, last week we reported that Mlotshwa spoke to us over the telephone on Telecel issues, it however later transpired the reporter had spoken to a wrong person who pretended to be a Telcel odfficial.The error is sincerely regretted. We apologise for the inconvience that might have been caused to Mlotshwa and Telecel.

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