MACRO-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Obert Mpofu’s business empire has reportedly hit the rocks, with most of his business units facing litigation over non-payment of services rendered.
Source: Mpofu’s business empire crumbles – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 20, 2016
BY SILAS NKALA
While Mpofu has generally been accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth, the self-proclaimed richest person, a few years ago, declared he single-handedly built his empire on bank loans.
Latest in the lawsuits is that of Maminza Transport situated in the Belmont area in Bulawayo, which is being sued by Associated Tyres (Pvt) Ltd, for $32 983,95 for tyres and services rendered between January 1 and December 21, 2013.
Associated Tyres filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court on September 13. Mpofu’s firm was given 21 days to enter appearance to defend the claim.
In its declaration of the claim, Associated Tyres submitted that: “Wherefore, the plaintiff prays for an order for judgment against defendant’s property to enable deputy sheriff to sell the same to recover $32 983,95 and cost of suit”.
Mpofu reportedly also owns companies such as Trebo and Khays, Khanondo Safari and Tours. He also owns immovable property in Bulawayo, such as Centrust Building and York House, among others. Mpofu also owns various properties in Victoria Falls and Gwanda.
Recently, Maminza Transport had its movable property, including a mud drilling compressor, eight Volvo trucks and three trailers, placed on auction in a case involving Menwood Trading through Hollands Auctioneers. Mpofu’s Minus Restaurant, Matetsi Meats Butchery, KST Bypass fuel service station all leased from Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), KoMpofu Sports Bar and KoMpofu Butchery in Mpumalanga high-density suburb in Hwange, reportedly also closed down recently.
These developments come at a time the Labour Court is dealing with a dispute with security guards at his Moya Security firm over salary arrears. Mpofu is also involved in a legal wrangle with nearly 20 journalists from his now-defunct The Zimbabwe Mail newspaper that folded early last year after just under two years in business.
His financial institution, Allied Bank went bust a few years ago after it surrendered its operating licence due to lack of capital. He was slapped with a $16 million lawsuit for failing to surrender immovable assets to the bank’s liquidator.
Mpofu a few years ago bragged before High Court judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu that he was so rich that he would not stoop so low as to demand kickbacks from prospective miners, as alleged by embattled Core Mining and Mineral Resources director, Lovemore Kurotwi.
Mpofu was responding to Kurotwi’s claims that he had demanded $10 million from him as a kickback for approving the latter’s diamond mining activities in Chiadzwa five years ago.