Former Trauma Centre Hospital owner Vivek Solanki and Harare lawyer Jonathan Samukange alongside two other trustees have filed a counter claim against African Medical Investment (AMI) officials at the High Court, seeking to repossess the state-of-the art medical institution as the ownership wrangle continues.
BY CHARLES LAITON
AMI officials Jeremy Sanford, Peter Annesley, Enerst Pfumbi, Gary Grosland and Catherine Cockcroft are cited as applicants in a 2012 matter in which Solanki, Samukange, Anis Omar, Harry Kantor, Streamsleigh Investments and the Registrar of Deeds were cited as respondents, but have now made a counter claim of the matter in the papers filed on Wednesday this week.
In an affidavit filed at the High Court, Solanki and Samukange together with their co-defendants said they were seeking an order declaring that the Streamsleigh Trust matter was settled in April 2009 by one Zarina Dudhia and that a firm called Future Properties Group was the sole and exclusive beneficiary thereof.
According to Solanki and his co-defendants, Streamsleigh Investments is the firm through which Trauma Centre Hospital, which AMI officials contend to be their property, was registered.
They said they were further seeking an order declaring that Streamsleigh Trust was the owner of all the issued shares in Streamsleigh Investments.
“An order declaring that the appointment of the first to third defendants (Solanki, Samukange and Omar) as directors of the 5th defendant (Streamsleigh Investments) was valid and that, accordingly, the said appointments subsist and an order directing that all plaintiffs cease from purporting in any way to act as trustees of Streamsleigh Trust, or as directors or shareholders of 5th defendant,” Solanki and his co-defendants said.
In the counter claim, Solanki and his co-defendants said a dispute had arisen as to the nature of the Trust and the persons who were its trustees: “As a consequence, there is a dispute as to the right to appoint the directors of the company as set out in the claim in convention,” they said.
“Each of the plaintiffs, so far as it relates to them, disputes the factual situation asserted by the 1st defendant (Solanki) and adopt the position set out in the claim in convention.”
In his affidavit filed in a different matter a year ago, Solanki maintained he personally “negotiated for a lease, some 23 years ago, of number 15 Lanark Road, Belgravia, Harare, from the previous owners who are both deceased”.
He said at the time of purchasing the property, a Mr Kantor of Kantor and Immerman was the executor of the owners of the property where he had been a sitting tenant for a long time.
“Mr Kantor personally offered me the property as I was the sitting tenant. I must point out that initially, I had agreed to lease the property in my own capacity,” Solanki said. “I later transferred the lease from VBL (Pvt) Ltd which in turn transferred same to Autoband Investment (first applicant herein) who is the present occupier of the premises.”
Solanki said after purchasing the property and before transfer had taken place, he consulted with his accountant, one Omar, as to whether the property should be transferred straight into a trust or into Autoband Investments.
“Mr Omar advised me to set up a new company (Streamsleigh Investments) through Mr Omar and I then advised the conveyancers to transfer the property into Streamsleigh Investments,” he said.
Solanki denied that Autoband and AMI ever entered into any agreement with each other for the sole purpose of purchasing the hospital.