Nzenza accused of being an accessory to crime as CAPS Holdings, Govt stand-off rages on
By Nyasha Chuma
Businessman Fredrick Mutanda has accused Minister of Industry and Commerce Sekai Nzenza of acting in bad faith and being an accessory to crime in the long drawn stand-off between CAPS Holdings and Government.
The CAPS Holdings executive chairman hit out at Nzenza for evading to address CAPS Holdings shareholders’ concerns regarding compulsory deprivation of CAPS Holdings by Government.
Mutanda was riled by a letter dated January 20 2022 were in the Minister of Industry and Commerce had said she could not respond to concerns around Government deprivation alleging the matter was under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion.
“I have read the contents of your letter citing objections of a legal nature. However I advise that you wait for the outcome of the Appeal which you have filed before the High Court as well another appeal which was filed by Caps Holdings Limited on the same matter,” Nzenza wrote.
“The matter involving both companies is sub judice and is therefore not open for discussion outside the ongoing court process.”
Mutanda responded in a letter to the minister on January 25 stating that her response showed an unwillingness to deal with the matter insisting the issues raised are not subjudice.
“My letter to you as the minister now responsible of CAPS, raised very specific concerns regading compulsory deprivation of CAPS Holdings by Government. It is unfortunate that you misinformed and therefore misled,” the independence war veteran wrote.
“Second, I do not have an appeal before the High Court. My application is to set aside an arbitral award, yet another result of impunity and abuse of public power, where you usurped an arbitration process, which I was not party to, without affording protection for my rights and claimed that Government had fully paid for my family shareholding,” Mutanda said.
“Minister the question of rights and liabilities should ordinarily be resolved by the exercise of the law and not impunity. The law should apply equally to all. In that regard Honourable Minister, you must exercise your public powers in good faith, fairly, and stop giving away my assets and CAPS businesses to cronies. Our Constitution guarantees protection of property rights. Yet Government compulsorily seized my assets and CAPS Holdings without compensation to me or the other 1,216 shareholders. In essence the default on Treasury Bills confirms compulsory deprivation and is not subjudice but a blatant disregard of the rule of law and an infringement of constitutional rights, which you must address with urgency. Failure which, I will assert my rights and those of my fellow shareholders as stated in my letter of 17 January 2022.”
Nzenza’s response had been triggered by a letter written to her office by Mutanda who demanded Government pays US$25 million for his stake in the Pharmaceutical giant as per the parties’ agreement six years ago.
Mutanda also demanded a return immovable properties, which he said were abused by former Caps Holdings senior employees.
The war veteran believes that shareholders have been cut off by the government from developments in CAPS Holdings and there wants to hold an EGM.
He is also raised alarm over how the government sold St Anne’s Hospital (which was under CAPS Holdings) to Roman Catholic nuns.