Breaking News

Chitando, shareholders clash in Hwange Colliery scandal

by Staff reporter
09 November 2018 | 1329 Views
MINES minister Winston Chitando unilaterally recommended Hwange Colliery Company Limited's placement under administration without the blessing of other shareholders. The move is widely seen by some officials as an attempt to cover up massive corruption involving senior management and public officials at the troubled coal miner, it emerged this week.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi announced the decision two weeks ago, saying it was meant to put the company on a recovery path and ultimately back to profitability. But shareholders, as well as the Hwange board led by Juliana Muskwe, workers and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) —which responded by suspending the firm —were also not informed or consulted.

The development came at a time the board was overseeing a forensic audit of the company to establish the circumstances under which about US$6,5 million was siphoned out of its already lean coffers.

Officials say Chitando, who has not been in good books with the board, had been keen on frustrating the audit as evidenced by his earlier decision to dissolve the board. Other shareholders however thwarted the move.

British tycoon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, a key shareholder, confirmed he was opposed to government's decision to place the company under reconstruction before the finalisation of the forensic audit.

He confirmed that he was not consulted when the decision was made. "I have not been consulted by the government on this matter. I do not believe any shareholders have been consulted. I do not know what a ‘reconstruction' means — this is news to me. However, I would make the obvious point that Hwange has been the victim of massive corruption and mismanagement over many years, as I have repeatedly stated in the media, and complained of to the various responsible ministers — all to no avail," Van Hoogstraten said.

"A forensic audit report should be, and needs to be, a prerequisite to any ‘reconstruction'. The recent Scheme of Arrangement was a short-term nonsense that I did not support, as it was only going to buy time and its main purpose was to cover up the systematic rape of the company by a succession of corrupt and incompetent managing directors, chairmen and management. Criminal proceedings will need to be taken against the responsible persons and their counterparties and not swept under the carpet, as has been the case, too many times in the past."




Van Hoogstraten holds 31% shareholding in Hwange. Government has 36,7% shareholding, making it the biggest shareholder. However, according to the arrangement in place, government has no power to arrive at such decisions without a unanimous shareholders' vote. Hwange workers' committee chairperson, Deliverance Nyoni, also confirmed they were not consulted. "Surely if we were consulted, we were not going to agree to an act which took away workers' rights. This is slavery. One thing for sure is that we will defend our rights through every possible legal way. We were given an opportunity as workers to purchase shares, which we did and this makes us a key subject in the company's boardroom affairs," he added.

Muskwe, who exposed Chitando's dominant hand in the company while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines on Thursday last week, also confirmed her board was not consulted when the decision to put the company under administration was made. "No consultations were ever made, neither to the board nor other shareholders. What this effectively means is that the board technically no longer exists, something which he (Chitando) has always wanted to happen. This also means that the forensic audit which we have been undertaking to ascertain the extent of corruption at the company will no longer proceed. Everything has been thrown into confusion," she said.

Muskwe declined to give further details, but another board member alleged that Chitando used the reconstruction decision as a tool to settle scores with the board and advance questionable interests. The board member also exposed the conflict on interest in the appointment of administrator Bekithemba Moyo, saying his company, DBF Capital, had business interests with Hwange.

Moyo will be assisted by Mutsa Mollie Jean Remba, the managing partner of Dube, Manikai & Hwacha (DMH) law firm which, according to the board member, represents senior managers whom the Muskwe board suspended from Hwange as part of its corruption investigations. These include former Hwange managing director Thomas Makore, human resources director Shepherd Manamike and finance director Tawanda Marapira.

Those appointed are conflicted in many ways. DBF Capital attempted without success to fundraise on behalf of Hwange. One wonders whether they (DBF) will now be able to raise funding under reconstruction. Mutsa Remba of DMH Legal Practitioners has been engaged in the negotiation for the Mota Engil contract extension. Further, the same law firm is representing Makore, Marapira, Munangwa, Manamike, Mutombe, Zvidzai, Chamunirwa, all accused of improprieties. Whose interests will DMH, let alone Mutsa, be serving in all this? This reconstruction is a façade to cover up incompetence, corruption, fraud and all forms of syndicated improprieties," the board member said.

Chitando could not be reached for comment as he was not answering his phone.

Chitando Hwange Scandal

Source: the independent

Comments

Latest News

Telecel increases data charges

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

BREAKING: China evicts 20 000 people from Domboshava

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa's govt lays new siege on business - GOVERNMENT has laid sieg...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Basic goods prices shoot up 200% - PRICES of basic commodities have ri...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Police, soldiers join Gaika looting spree - GOVERNMENT is facing fresh...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Harare, RBZ in forex tussle - A BITTER wrangle between Harare City Cou...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa govt fears unrest over meltdown - PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangag...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

'Gukurahundi survivors perpetrators prosecuted'

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Matabeleland Collective demands gukurahundi truth from Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa's govt backs down on 99-year lease logjam - GOVERNMENT will ...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Caledonia's Eastview residents deserve better - For a considerable per...

by Brightface Mutema | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Man goes on the run after killing daugther - Police in Mberengwa are i...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Businessman's death opens can of worms - THE sudden death of Mirirai D...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Massive shake-up at Rusape court

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Warriors to camp in Dubai

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Couples perish in horrific accident - RUSAPE was on Easter Sunday plun...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Sanctions imposition an act of cowardice, says Museveni

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Kudzi Chipanga joins Chiwenga's plotting team?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Zanu-PF youths, armed cops evict family from its mine in the name of M...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Pensioners Allowances - Again this government of crooks will always pl...

by Clement Moyo (Mr) | 26 April 2019 | 1 Views

Mnangagwa cancels trip to Malawi

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 April 2019 | 4 Views

ZANU PF Youth leader resigns

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 April 2019 | 5 Views

CIO boss dies mysteriously - The sudden death on Easter Monday of a se...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 8 Views

Chamisa faces VPs headache

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 6 Views

'POSA bounces back as MOPA' - THERE has been a public outcry over the ...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2019 | 2 Views

Entertainment

'Bukalanga Gathering 2019 Will Be Spectacular' - Organisers

by Titshabona Malaba Ncube | 26 April 2019 | 3 Views

Madlela to share stage with Shwi, Freddy in SA

by Staff reporter | 23 April 2019 | 366 Views

List of Zimbabwean celebrities who became politicians

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 April 2019 | 5033 Views

Analysts defend Tinashe Kachingwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 April 2019 | 5182 Views

Charambas drop videos

by Staff reporter | 17 April 2019 | 1335 Views
iBlog

Mobile Spy Software Maker Mspy Hacked

mspy, the makers of a software-as-a-service product that claims to help more than two million people spy on the mobile devices of their kids and partners, to have been massively hacked. a public relations pitch from mspy to krebsonsecurity in march ... Read More
SecNews 17 May 2015 ago

Greatsoftline For All Of Your Software Needs

coupon and promo codes: greatsoftline for all of your software needswhile some online sellers have promotional services that reduce the overall amount you spent, others do not .you need to be on the lookout for the best outlets in order to chase th... Read More
ITnews 25 February 2015 ago