HIGH Court judge Justice Edith Mushore has ruled in favor of the once exiled businessman James Makamba in a long-drawn Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd share ownership battle with a war veterans organization, Magamba eChimurenga Housing Trust.
In the initial application, Magamba eChimurenga Housing Trust was claiming 24% shareholding in Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited, the indigenous group that owns shares in Telecel Zimbabwe.
However, in an order granted on October 18, Justice Mushore dismissed the trust’s application with costs.“Whereupon, after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that; the application be and is hereby dismissed with costs on an attorney-client scale,” she ruled.
Makamba and his firm, Kestrel Corporation (Private) Limited, Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited, Jane Mutasa, Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation, Selpon Investments (Private) Limited, Carlton Consultancy (Private) Limited, Harare lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa, Telecel and former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security minister Supa Mandiwanzira were cited as respondents in the matter.
In its founding affidavit, the trust said the government fostered a thrust to empower its citizens through an indigenization economic policy and the move allowed indigenous groups and entities to take part in the creation of a third cellular network, which resulted in the formation of Telecel.
“Thus, several indigenous groups and individuals responded to the government clarion call and empowerment drive for the upliftment of the indigenous businesses in the telecommunications industry,” the trust said in its court papers. It added that the companies that formed part of the business included Kestrel Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association led by the late Chenjerai Hunzvi, Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation, Leo Mugabe’s Integrated Engineering Group and Philip Chiyangwa’s Affirmative Action Group, among other entities.
The Andrew Ndlovu-led Magamba eChimurenga had further submitted that the indigenous groups responded to the government’s quest for indigenization of the economy in 1997 and that these acted as promoters for the birth of the Empowerment Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, an assertion dismissed by the court.