Gandawa’s firm in name furore

Source: Gandawa’s firm in name furore | The Herald February 22, 2017

Fidelis Munyoro:Chief Court Reporter

Fuzzy Technologies (Pvt) Limited, a company fingered in the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) alleged corruption saga, is embroiled in a wrangle over its name with another firm trading in electronics.The technology firm, which is owned by Deputy Minister of High and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Dr Godfrey Gandawa (pictured), allegedly corruptly received various amounts of money from Zimdef for supply of computer consumables, without going to tender.

Gandawa is facing criminal abuse of office charges for allegedly benefiting illegally from over $430 000 from the Zimdef.

A company called Fuzzy Electronics (Pvt) Ltd has written to the Registrar of Companies objecting to Fuzzy Technologies (Pvt) Ltd using the name. Fuzzy Electronics was registered with the Registrar of Companies in 2002, while Gandawa’s firm was registered in 2015.

Through its lawyers, Chibaya Law Chambers, Fuzzy Electronics wrote to the Registrar of Companies seeking to have Fuzzy Techonologies de-registered in terms of the Companies Act.

“We are instructed to lodge a complaint or objection to the company name Fuzzy Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, which was registered in April 2015,” said the lawyers in the letter dated November 9 2016.

“The objection is premised on Section 24 (2) (Chapter 24:3) of the Companies Act, which provides that no name shall be registered by a name which is similar or nearly resemble any such name as to be likely to deceive.”

The lawyers said their client was registered in 2002 as Fuzzy Electronics, which made the name Fuzzy Techonologies nearly resemble the former.

“The near resemblance makes it unlawful to register another company under the name Fuzzy Technologies. On this basis, we seek that the firm registered under the name Fuzzy Technologies (Pvt) Ltd be de-registered under that name.”

Following the objection by Fuzzy Electronics, the Registrar of Companies wrote to Fuzzy Technologies asking it to submit its memorandum within a month of receiving the letter giving reasons why the company should not be de-registered in terms of Section 25 of the Companies Act (Chapter 23:3).

To date, Fuzzy Technologies has not responded to the Registrar of Companies request. This prompted Fuzzy Electronics’ lawyer to write again to the Registrar of Companies advising them that the one-month period within which Fuzzy Technologies should have responded has since elapsed.

“The one-month period elapsed and no representations have been filed and served to ourselves,” said the lawyers. “In this regard our client still insists with the objection and kindly request a hearing date in terms of Section 11(4) (a) of the Companies Regulations’.

Gandawa’s corruption trial was last month stalled after he successfully applied to have his case referred to the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

Charges against Gandawa arose after he allegedly transferred $107 525 from Zimdef to Fuzzy Technologies’ NMB Bank account, of which $5 745 was transferred to Pridham Investments for his personal furniture among a raft of alleged underhand dealings at the parastatal.