HIGH Court judge Justice Siyabona Paul Msithu has dismissed Henrietta Nyanyiwa’s bid to claim a 50% stake in the estate of her late father Edward Nyanyiwa, popularly known as Eddies Pfugari.
BY Andrew Kunambura
Henrietta is one of the late property mogul’s five children who are embroiled in a vicious wrangle over their father’s US$30 million estate.
Pfugari, one of the pioneers of Zimbabwe’s black economic empowerment crusade, died on February 10 last year at his Milton Park home in Harare, leaving behind a massive business empire, E Pfugari Properties (Private Limited) and a number of assets.
Just a year after the famed tycoon died aged 82, a battle over his estate has erupted among his children and widows who are all claiming a share of the business empire.
Henrietta filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court on August 14 challenging Pfugari’s eldest son, Edward Nyanyiwa (Jnr)’s sole directorship in the company.
She wanted to be declared co-director.
In her application, Henrietta, along with her late mother’s appointed estate executor, Stern Mafara, accused Edward Jnr of having defrauded her of her 50% stake in the company.
But Edward Jnr opposed the application saying Mildred was never a shareholder in the company and that the share certificates indicated that only him and his late father were the co-shareholders.
Justice Msithu, however, said the hearing could not proceed as Henrietta’s application was based on an erroneous assumption that her mother, Mildred, held an equal shareholding with Pfugari.
The judge also accused Mafara and Henrietta of trying to mislead the court into believing that Mildred was a shareholder despite not having supporting documents.
“Even more bizarre was the failure to disclose first applicant’s summons claim for a declaratur which in my view makes the present application inessential. The non-disclosures had the effect of creating material disputes of fact once first and second respondents filed their opposition revealing the genesis of the dispute between the parties. This court would have been misled had it not invited the parties to appear and argue their cases. I find the preliminary objection meritorious.
“Having found in favour of first and second respondents in respect of these key preliminary objections which in my view go to the root of the application, I find it needless to traverse the merits of the application and the remaining preliminary objections. The application must fall on this premise,” Justice Msithu ruled, ordering Mafara and Henrietta to foot the legal bill.