via Solanki loses Trauma case | The Herald November 5, 2013
African Medical Investments boss Mr Peter Annesley and two others were last week acquitted of US$10 million fraud and fraudulently taking over Dr Vivek Solanki’s Trauma Centre medical facility in Harare. Harare regional magistrate Mr Clever Tsikwa discharged Mr Annesley, Mr Paul Stevenson and Ms Mavis Mushonga who were facing two counts of fraud and two others of theft at the close of the State case.
He ruled that the State failed to make a case against them and placing them on their defence would be an indirect way of asking them to prosecute themselves.
“It is evident from Solanki’s evidence that the whole dispute is centred on who should control the company,” said Mr Tsikwa.
“This is a boardroom wrangle and it came as no wonder that he was making constant reference to himself having left the company by force and that he has lost business.”
Mr Tsikwa said Mr Annesley, Mr Stevenson and Ms Mushonga were once complainants before the tables were turned against them.
“The State has failed to prove a case against the accused in respect of the element of misrepresentation and prejudice in the fraud charges and theft charges,” he said.
In their defence outline Annesley and Mushonga, who were represented by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, denied making any misrepresentations to the registrar of companies or submitting any fake documents.
They also denied prejudicing Dr Solanki’s company Autoband, which owns Trauma Centre.
Allegations against the three were that in 2001, Dr Solanki registered Autoband Investments (Pvt) Ltd, to operate the Trauma Centre and appointed Mr Stevenson and Ms Mushonga as directors. Mr Stevenson resigned in 2009 and was replaced by Zarina Dudhia, who was appointed as general manager and sole signatory to the company’s bank accounts.
In 2008, Dr Solanki registered a company, VIP Health Care in Mauritius to build clinics around Africa.
In South Africa, it is alleged, he met Mr Andrew Groves and Mr Phil Edmonds who were his former patients at his Johannesburg Airport Clinic.
The pair introduced themselves as owners of AMI, a UK-based company.
Mr Groves and Mr Edmonds allegedly offered to merge their business with that of Mr Solanki to assist in building hospitals and clinics on the continent.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza said that in the agreement Mr Groves and Mr Edmonds offered to pay Dr Solanki 5 million and 24 million shares in AMI.
Dr Solanki accepted the proposal and an agreement was signed.
Following the agreement, it is alleged, hospitals were built in South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique.
The AMI directors, Mr Reza said, agreed that they would buy Dr Solanki’s Johannesburg Airport Clinic and the Harare Trauma Centre separately. But the agreement did not materialise.
It was alleged Dr Solanki bought land to build the Trauma Centre and registered it under one of his companies Stremleigh Investments.
Dr Solanki’s relationship with the AMI directors broke down after they failed to pay the 5 million and 24 million shares, the court heard.
It is alleged that this resulted in the AMI directors trying to oust Dr Solanki from the Harare Trauma Centre.
On November 5, 2010 Mr Annesley is alleged to have told the registrar of companies that Dr Solanki, appointed director and manager, had resigned from Streamsleigh Investments and that Mr Stevenson and Mr Annesley had been appointed directors.
As a result, it is alleged they fraudulently acquired a CR14 form to take over Dr Solanki’s company and assets valued at US$10 million.