HARARE – Diversified conglomerate CFI Holdings (CFI) will next month hold an extraordinary general meeting to decide the fate of its directors Shingirai Chibanguza and Hamish Rudland.
The duo is being accused by Stalap Investments and Willoughby’s Investments of abusing their positions at the expense of the struggling company, whose interim chairperson Grace Muradzikwa recently resigned due to increasing shareholder wrangle.
Chibanguza is accused — in his capacity as Farm & City managing director — of setting up unsanctioned parallel cash collection systems in violation of good corporate governance tenets.
“As a result . . . Chibanguza was involved in financial transactions were he was conflicted and was found guilty by a board appointed independent authority,” CFI company secretary Panganayi Hare said on Friday.
Business tycoon Rudland is blamed for using his authority on the board to push for free use of company properties under Farm & City by Swift resulting in the company suffering prejudice in lost rentals of $100 000.
“He also used his influence as audit chair to suppress an audit report where thousands of dollars went missing from Glenara Estates after being collected by Telfo, a company in which he is director,” Hare said, adding that Rudland also worked with other Stalap directors who control the board to delay or halt the reversal of the Langford transaction.
Things came to a head in the agro-industrial concern when businessman Nick van Hoogstraten, using his Willoughby’s Investments firm, started pushing for the reversal of CFI’s $18 million sale of Langfords Estates to Fidelity Life, approved at a CFI EGM in October 2015.
Under the Langford transaction, CFI sold 81 percent shareholding in the 841-hectare estate to Fidelity, which has been diversifying into the property market.
Van Hoogstraten claims that there was conflict of interest in the transaction after Zimre Holdings, which holds shareholding in both Fidelity and CFI, voted at the meeting nearly three years ago.
He claims that the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) was also in conflict of interest when it cast its vote and is pushing for the ouster of the pension administrator’s and Stalap nominated directors from the CFI board.
Nssa has denied his claim.
Stalap, in a press statement early this month, said it stood by its nominees on the CFI board and restated its support for the Langford transaction.
“Stalap Investments still supports and upholds the Langford land for debt swap transaction which prevented the foreclosure of CFI assets by financial institutions and other creditors to the benefit of all shareholders,” the investment vehicle said.
“Further to that, Stalap will continue to pursue the value preserving and accretive initiatives that will ensure that long-term return on investments is attained by CFI for the benefit of all shareholders and the nation at large, primarily the business which remains challenged due to selfish interests by a few blocks of opposing shareholders.”