A bruising battle is imminent in the capital after business tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten threatened to expose leading telecommunications company, Econet Wireless, as the fight to control Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) escalates.
Impeccable sources said van Hoogstraten was gritting his teeth ahead of the annual general meeting (AGM) on June 29 to lay bare what he said were “a self-serving and dishonest history back to the 2005 fraud” by Econet.
Said the tycoon last week to our sister newspaper, The Standard: “If my appointed directors are defrauded again of their
rightful positions we will call an EGM (extraordinary general meeting).”
The sources said it was likely that there would be no consensus at the AGM and that an EGM was in the offing.
The bone of contention stems from the desire by the tycoon to appoint four representatives to sit on the RTG board and accuses financially troubled Patterson Timba, who had an inglorious exit at Renaissance Merchant Bank for abuse of depositors’ funds, of conniving with
Econet and the National Social Security Authority to block his appointees.
“This is probably the first AGM at RTG that will fail to agree on the agenda for the meeting,” sources said.
According to a recent notice to shareholders of RTG, “at the instance of a notice received from various individuals or companies controlled by or
related to the Hamilton and Hamilton Trustees Group, it is proposed that Messrs S Chibanguza, A S Hamilton, M R Hamilton and I Haruperi be appointed as directors of the company by a single resolution”.
According to van Hoogstraten, Econet has indicated that it had a debt of $800 million. By yesterday the market capitalisation of Econet on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange was $459 329 229.
Douglas Mboweni, Econet’s chief executive officer, has since dismissed van Hoogstraten’s allegations in The Standard as speculation.
Econet recently appointed Tracy Mpofu as RTG board chairperson, Krison Chirairo, John Gould and S C Vera as non-executive directors.
The appointments have to be confirmed at the AGM where van Hoogstraten has promised a showdown.