HWANGE Colliery’s bid to bar its business partner, a Chinese-owned firm, Hwange Coal Gasification Company, from selling coal stocks and coking oven battery hit a snag recently after High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire dismissed the application.
REPORT BY CHARLES LAITON
Hwange had made the application seeking an anti-dissipation interdict arguing “a free-for-all situation” obtaining in the Coal Gasification Company would result in the dissipation of its assets.
Hwange Colliery Company holds a 25% stake in the firm while the latter owns 75%. However, Justice Mafusire said the move by Hwange Colliery Company would cripple the Coal Gasification Company.
“I am satisfied that given the Coal Gasification Company was a going concern with substantial financial commitments on a day-to-day basis, such an order would cripple the company and eventually collapse it,” Justice Mafusire said. “While I found Hwange Colliery’s fears to be reasonable under the circumstances, nonetheless, I have considered that firstly, the signing arrangement above is a good measure of protection for everyone, and secondly that since the interdict related mainly to the coke oven and battery, there was minimal danger of its dissipation,” he added. Justice Mafusire said Coal Gasification Company’s structure was built on Hwange Colliery premises and as such Hwange Colliery could easily monitor the structure and take remedial action if anyone tried to tamper with it.
The court, however, granted Hwange Colliery reprieve after interdicting former board member Tendai Savanhu from being involved in any business of the two firms.
“Tendai Savanhu is hereby interdicted and restrained from holding himself out to any person or body whatsoever as one with authority to represent Hwange Colliery Company in any manner or capacity,” Justice Mafusire said.
“Tendai Savanhu is hereby further interdicted and restrained from attending any board meetings of Hwange Coal Gasification Company or signing any documents or making representations or statement of authority in relation to that company.” On the question of the two firms’ joint bank accounts, Justice Mafusire said the interim signing arrangements agreed to by the parties shall apply to all the bank accounts of Coal Gasification Company, but ordered the deletion of a signatory, one Fred Moyo, substituting him with Stanford Ndlovu.