BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
A BOARD member of Doves Holdings, Farai Matsika, and the chief operating officer of the company, Edson Gatsi, have been accused of stripping the assets of the life assurance firm.
This is contained in an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court in Harare on April 23 where one of the company’s shareholder, Phibeon Busangabanye is seeking an order directing the removal of the two from the company.
Busangabanye is a director of Transformer Investments, an investment vehicle used in the acquisition of the Doves group.
In the urgent chamber application filed through his lawyers, Rusunahama-Rabvuka Attorneys, Busangabanye argues a delay in expelling two threatens the interests of the company’s policy holders and that of other shareholders.
“Applicants seek an urgent restraining order and the immediate appointment of a forensic auditor in the interim and subsequently the removal of first and thirrd respondent from the directorship and management of fifth respondent at the return date including an order compelling second respondent to transfer the property to the fifth respondent,” the court papers read in part.
Matsika, who is also the chief executive and executive director of Faramatsi Motors is cited as the first respondent and the vehicle sales firm as the second respondent. Gatsi, a director of Faramatsi and is also the chief operating officer of Doves Life Assurance, is the third respondent while Doves Holdings and Doves Life Assurance are cited as fourth and fifth respondents, respectively.
The Insurance and Pensions Commission is cited as the sixth respondent.
According to the court papers, Matsika and Gatsi face charges of ‘embarking on a process of stripping company assets’ pending the resolution of shareholding dispute between the pair and Busangabanye dating back to 2008.
“This demonstrates that the first respondent started working to steal at the very beginning of the shareholding dispute. Furthermore, if he had guts to steal at a time when I was still on the board, one can only imagine the extent he would go after my resignation and in the face of a dispute,” Busangabanye said in his founding affidavit.
The shareholding dispute is pending at the High Court under case number HC 3364/20.
“On the 20th of April, whilst driving in Harare, I saw an immovable property which I knew to have been purchased by fifth respondent branded in second respondent’s signage. Much to my shock, the property was branded in second respondents branding material and signage despite my knowledge that the same was purchased by fifth respondent sometime in 2018 … the property … has become a place of business for Faramatsi Motors (Private),” Busangabanye adds.
The property in question is described as stand number 11 479 Salisbury of Salisbury Township measuring 1,1315 hectares.
“Allowing the status quo would promote the nefarious conduct of moving fifth respondent’s assets into his name so as to render the determination of this court futile in the main matter under HC 3365/20,” Busangabanye said.
“The nature of the business of fourth and fifth respondent is such that they carry the interests of not only of shareholders, but also of policy holders, whose interests are threatened if the assets of fifth respondent are transferred, abused or mismanaged in such manner.”