Matsika loses 30% shareholding claim

BY Andrew Kunambura

BUSINESSMAN Farai Matsika has lost his claim of 30% shareholding in Croco Holdings (Pvt) Limited after the High Court ruled that he used forged documents to snatch a stake from his erstwhile boss Moses Tonderai Chingwena’s company.

In a hard-hitting judgment, Justice Owen Tagu slapped Matsika with costs over his “dishonest” application.

“The applicants sought to seek relief from this court by fabricating documents, a fabrication as amateurish as it is disrespectful. But then, there was a method to this madness because even the founding and answering affidavits lacked nothing in wounded pride and dignity but contained nothing of substance. For that, there must be consequences to his pocket as the only antidote in the hands of the court to show its displeasure at such a brazen abuse of the process of the court,” Justice Tagu ruled.

In the application, Matsika and Fairgold Investments (Private) Limited, were the applicants, while Chingwena, Moses Tonderai Chingwena Family Trust, Croco Holdings (Private) Limited, Croco Investments (Private) Limited, Croco Motors (Private) Limited and Premier Auto Services (Private) Limited and 33 others, were cited as respondents.

It emerged during the hearing that Matsika was initially employed as a chief executive officer by Croco Holdings before his employment was terminated in 2015.

He, however, told the court that he held 30% of issued shares in Croco Holdings through his company Fairgold Investments.

Matsika further told the court that in May 2006, he held 20% of the issued shares, relying on a shareholders’ agreement, which Chingwena disputed as a forged document.

He further claimed that in 2007, he increased his shareholding to 30% — an averment Chingwena also refuted — adding that Matsika never held any shares in Croco Holdings.

Justice Tagu further took note of Chingwena and the other respondents’ query on how Matsika had acquired the shares he claimed to own.

“The respondents asserted that the documents that the applicants relied on to found their claim were fraudulent,” he said.

Justice Tagu said Matsika and his company had failed to satisfactorily explain the two conflicting CR2 forms presented before the court, adding that they had also failed to prove that they had a right to make the current application.

“The application must clearly be filed by a shareholder. It is evident from the documents before the court whose authenticity has not been established that the applicants have not established their claim of 30% shareholding or any shareholding at all in the third respondent. As regards the second applicant, it is clear that it cannot be a shareholder in the third respondent,” he ruled.

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