CAPS Holdings head office was on Friday auctioned for $1,5 million as CBZ Bank recovered funds from the troubled pharmaceutical firm.
Report by Acting Business Editor
The High Court-sanctioned sale of the property came at a time Caps chairperson Fred Mtanda is fighting to regain control of the prized asset.
Mtanda described the sale as illegal saying he had agreed on a repayment plan with CBZ and FBC Bank, which Caps owes in excess of $4 million.
“That sale is illegal. We had made an arrangement to pay the banks $500 000 each month from June 31. To date, I have paid
$750 000 and today (Friday), I stopped a payment of $250 000 which would have made the repayments add up to $1 million. This means that by the end of the month I would have paid $1,5 million which is the price which that property was auctioned for,” Mtandah fumed.
“The bank should have reversed the sale of the property because within two weeks I would have paid that $1,5 million. Is there a motive for selling a property worth $6 million for $1,5 million? As for FBC, we owe the bank $1 million and we have so far paid $350 000 and by the end of the month we would have paid the balance. We employ people, we produce medicine for this country, so I don’t know why the sale would proceed. Is it political?”
When reached for comment, CBZ finance director Never Nyemudzo referred questions to the bank’s spokesperson who could not be reached at the time of going to print.
Last month, said the planned auction of the company’s head office could not go ahead as government had pledged to take over its debt. Mtanda said Cabinet made a decision to take over the company’s debts as a way of rescuing it in August last year.
Mtanda said in September 2012, Industry and Trade secretary Abigail Shonhiwa informed him about the government decision by the pharmaceutical company’s major shareholder, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
He, however, said when IDC drafted the final report, it did not include the decision made by the government to take over the debt which should have been settled by the money owed to Caps by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for medicines delivered to Natpharm in October 2008.