Co-op chairperson threatens members with gun

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FORMER chairperson of Nehanda Co-operative Society in Dzivarasekwa Extension, Never Kowo, allegedly pulled out a pistol and threatened to shoot members who allegedly confronted him demanding a breakdown of how he had used the co-operative’s funds.

BY Christopher Mahove

The allegations were made in the High Court yesterday where Kowo was seeking an interdict order barring an interim executive elected on April 29 this year from interfering with the operations of the co-operative.

Making her submissions in a packed courtroom, Enesia Gutu, who is the deputy chairperson of the disputed interim committee, said Kowo threatened to shoot the members whom he labeled as “rebels” after they had asked him to hold an annual general meeting (AGM) to give an update over use of funds.

Members of the co-operative held a meeting on April 29 where they passed a vote of no confidence in the Kowo-led executive and voted in a new executive chaired by Simba Moyo.

This allegedly prompted Kowo and his team to approach the court seeking an interdict stopping the Moyo-led executive from interfering with the co-operative’s accounts and stop purporting to be the leaders of the organisation.

In his submissions, Charles Chinyama of Chinyama and Associates, who was representing Kowo and his executive, said Moyo and his team were elected at an illegal meeting which did not form a quorum and had long ceased to be members of the co-operative as they had last paid their subscription in 2012.

However, Gutu said Kowo was using bullying tactics to silence members while he misappropriated the co-operative’s funds.
She said Kowo and his executives were paying themselves hefty amounts in salaries as well as entertainment, funeral, education and other allowances.

She further claimed that Kowo had bought graders which he registered in the name of his son and was selling houses and stands to non co-operative members while bonafide members were yet to be allocated.

Another member of the interim executive, Elizabeth Mapurisa, said Kowo had failed to organise an AGM since the co-operative was registered in 2001.

Mapurisa said the members had approached the Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives ministry last year to register their displeasure with the way the cooperative was being run, which directed that an audit be held by June 30 of that year.

Justice Loice Matanda Moyo reserved judgment, saying she will deliver the verdict and her reasons today.

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