The case in which former Zimbabwean Vice President, Phelekezela Mphoko and his son Siqokoqela and Choppies are fighting over the value of the shares owned by the former in the company has taken a new twist with the two men turning their guns on their estranged lawyer, Welshman Ncube.
According to papers before the Bulawayo High Court, Zimbabwe, the two men seek to recover about US$1, 5 million from Ncube. Mpho and his son are requesting the Court to issue an order for the payment of the following sums of US$1, 5 million which Ncube received in trust for and on behalf of the two men from Choppies Enterprises Ltd, for onward payment to the Mphokos by the 16th January 2019, which sums of money despite demand Ncube has failed, refused and or neglected to pay.
The Mphokos said in court papers that between the 1st January 2109 and 9th January 2019, Ncube received the sum of US$2 900 000.00 (two million nine hundred thousand United States dollars) from Choppies Enterprises Ltd, for and on their behalf, while acting in his capacity as their attorney under a contract of mandate and having separately contracted to do so in a written Addendum to a Settlement Agreement signed between the plaintiffs, Choppies Enterprises Ltd and Defendant on the 11th January 2019.
At all material times, the two men said, they were shareholders in Choppies Enterprises Ltd and the sum of money at issue were received by Ncube in trust as consideration in a transaction wherein the plaintiffs were pressured to purportedly dispose of their shares in exchange for a withdrawal of criminal charges against Siqokoqela and his wife.
The Mphokos said Ncube confirmed to them that he received for and on their behalf the full amount from Choppies Enterprises and upon request from them Ncube paid the sum of $517 500.00 (five hundred and seven thousand five hundred dollars) to Mphoko leaving a balance of $832 500.00 (eight hundred and thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars); and a sum of $730 219.00 (seven hundred and thirty thousand two hundred and nineteen dollars) to Siqokoqela, leaving a balance of $619 708.50 (six hundred and nineteen thousand seven hundred and eight dollars and fifty cents).
They said despite demand, Ncube has failed, neglected and or refused to pay the aforesaid balances of $832 500.00 (eight hundred and thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars) to Mphoko and $619 708.50 (six hundred and nineteen thousand seven hundred and eight dollars and fifty cents) to Siqokoqela. Therefore, the two men pray for judgment against Ncube as follows: payment of the sum of $832 500.00 (eight hundred and thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars) to Mphoko and $619 708.50 (six hundred and nineteen thousand seven hundred and eight dollars and fifty cents) to Siqokoqela.
They also demand payment of interest on the respective amounts of money at the prescribed rate of interest of 5% per annum from the 16th January 2019 to date of payment in full. The latest development comes at a time when Mphoko and his are also seeking an order declaring their entitlement to payment of the true value of the 51% shares they held in Choppies before being booted out. In the case against Choppies, Mphoko and his son are demanding an outstanding US$44 million for their 51% shares in the company.
The Mphokos also claimed interest at the rate of 5% per annum from January 9, 2019, when they were unlawfully divested of their shareholding, to date of full payment. In their declaration of the claim, the Mphokos submitted that at all material time, they were the majority shareholders of Nanavac Investments, holding an aggregate of 51% shares.
“First applicant (Siqokoqela) held 25,5% shares and second applicant (Phelekezela) held 25,5% shares in first defendant (Nanavac Investments), while the second defendant (Choppies Enterprises) held the remaining 49% of the first defendant (Nanavac Investments)’ shares,” reads the declaration.
“In about 2018, a dispute arose between first applicant and second defendant resulting in the second and third defendants instituting legal proceedings against first plaintiff and his wife and the first defendant at the High Court. The second defendant instituted malicious and false criminal complaints to the police, resulting in the institution of magistrates’ court proceedings against the first plaintiff and his wife.”
They said the proceedings resulted in their arrest and detention and on January 9 in order to secure freedom, the Mphokos signed a deed of settlement with Choppies Enterprises in terms of which they disposed of their shareholding in Nanavac Investments to Choppies Enterprises. “The deed of settlement between the parties provided that the two plaintiffs were to be paid US$2,9 million by second defendant for the acquisition of plaintiffs’ full rights and title to the first defendant’s shareholding,” they said.
The Mphokos said the unlawful deed of settlement understated value of the shareholding they owned in that US$2,9 million offered for the shares constituted about 7% as opposed to 51% of the value of the shares in Nanavac Investments, which was given as US$44 million at the Botswana Stock Exchange.
“The second defendant paid the sum of US$2,9 million in local currency, where shareholding was purportedly being acquired by a foreign entity and in terms of the impugned deed of settlement, the value of the shares was in US dollars. The plaintiffs are entitled to 51% shares in first defendant in terms of the shareholders agreement of July 24 2013.”
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.