HomeNewsRTG boardroom fights escalate

RTG boardroom fights escalate

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Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) individual majority shareholder Nicholas Van Hoogstraten has stepped up his fight to reclaim control of the group after he described a recently convened elective board meeting as invalid.

He also vowed to block the group’s capital raising initiative.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed concern last week held a meeting where new board members were elected.

National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board member Joseph Kanyekanye was elected RTG chairperson.

Although three people linked to Van Hoogstraten — Shingirayi Chibanguza, Ian Haruperi and Edgeton Tsanga — were appointed as non-executive directors, it is understood that the businessman wanted Tourism secretary Sylvester Maunganidze to be appointed chairperson of the board.

Van Hoogstraten told NewsDay that Kanyekanye’s election was in breach of an agreement.

“We do not accept the validity of the so-called ‘Board Meeting’ of Tuesday as it was in breach of the written agreement between my group and NSSA signed on 23-24th May 2012,” said Van Hoogstraten in a written response to questions sent by this newspaper.

NSSA general manager James Matiza, Van Hoogstraten claimed, had agreed to nominate Maunganidze.

When reached for comment, Matiza declined to comment.

“That’s his views, I cannot comment on that,” he said yesterday.

Van Hoogstraten, who now has board representation, said acting RTG chief executive Paschal Changunda should be ousted from RTG.
“This gentleman, who as finance director during the period that RTG was brought to its knees, has much to answer for and needs to be removed and possibly prosecuted as soon as possible,” Van Hoogstraten said.

It is understood under the pact between the business tycoon and NSSA, the entire RTG board, which included John Chikura, was expected to step down.

But Chikura reportedly did not resign and turned up for the board meeting last week.

“His (Chikura) vote was the one that upset the apple cart. When put to the vote we were then outvoted as four voted for the permanent secretary and five against.

“Chikura, who was there illegally, swung it in their favour,” said another source linked to Van Hoogstraten.

The recent RTG board meeting was the first since last year’s stormy annual general meeting in which the British investor lost his bid to nominate his proxies after NSSA voted with former shareholders Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

RTG desperately needs to raise $15 million to recapitalise the hospitality company and retire short-term debts. They want to raise $5,5 million through a rights issue and $9,5 million through sale of Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel to NSSA.

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