Twalumba Holdings, a local corporate organisation bankrolling Northern Region Division One football club Highfield United, also former sponsors of Premiership side Black Mambas, reportedly owes financially-beleaguered ReNaissance Merchant Bank (RMB) close to $3 million.
This was revealed in High Court papers in which former RMB chief executive officer Patterson Timba is seeking relief to bar the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) from using his company coffers to pay for the curator’s services.
Twalumba, under the directorship of Nkululeko Sibanda, was reportedly advanced a
$3,2 million loan facility by the merchant bank as far back as 2009 and was expected to settle it by December 31 last year.
Court papers at hand classify the loan as “doubtful”, meaning the corporate organisation has allegedly failed to settle the debt.
RMB was put under curatorship by the RBZ in June after discovery of corporate governance violations by the merchant bank’s management.
The central bank established there was systematic abuse of depositors’ funds, a high level of non-performing insider and related-party exposures that included a $9,8 million loan to Timba, and gross violations of banking laws and regulations.
According to court papers, Twalumba Holdings allegedly breached its limits on several occasions and repayment on the loan facility was erratic. Information about Twalumba Holdings’ bad debt is contained in an annexure which forms part of the RBZ’s response to Timba’s suit, filed last week.
In his application, Timba wants the court to force the RBZ to pay monies owed to RMB and to stop the curator, Reggie Saruchera, from being paid from the merchant bank’s funds.
Part of the annexure, titled Summary of Adversely Classified Loans, reads: “The Company (Twalumba Holdings) is involved in civil engineering and rehabilitation of roads.
“The bank had instituted a legal recourse before the company submitted a repayment plan (twelve months facility with six months grace period with interest payable on monthly bases.
Initial payment is $400 000 and thereafter $200 000 per month). Repayment plan may not be feasible in view of the seasonality of the client’s business.”