Battle for Caps takes new twist

Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza

SHREWD businessman Frederick Charles Mutanda has piled pressure on government to return his shareholding in ailing drugs giant, Caps Holdings, after it failed to honour its pledge to pay US$25 million for his stake as per the parties’ agreement six years ago.

Mutanda reignited his battle to regain control of Caps in a letter to Industry minister Sekai Nzenza on Monday, demanding that government pays US$25 million and return immovable properties, which he said were misappropriated by former Caps executives.

He said he accepted government’s offer to take over Caps Healthcare in November 2015.

Mutanda added that through a letter written by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya on December 28, 2015, the two sides agreed to a US$25 million settlement.

“I write this letter to confirm the indisputable fact that the acquisition of my shareholding in Caps Manufacturing and Caps Healthcare can no longer be regarded as binding and that the parties thereto should return to the status quo,” Mutanda said.

“The historical facts are contrary to the narrative you deposed in your affidavit dated December 2, 2021. Once I received a response from the Attorney-General after obfuscation…honesty and contrition was what I needed.

“You will no doubt recall that on 20 February 2020, I wrote to RBZ cancelling the sale and purchase of shares agreement. I proceeded to restitute the sum of twenty million dollars ($20 000 000) which had been paid as the purchase price.”

He said the deal was null and void.

“The agreement misrepresented the purchase price and included my delictual claim of US$25 million, which the government acknowledged and undertook to settle.

“The reserve bank sought to conceal the delictual claim by changing the purchase price from US$20 million to US$45 million.

“In so doing, the reserve bank violated provisions of section 52 of the Public Finance Management Act as the purchase of the two Caps companies was never tabled before Parliament.”

Mutanda claimed that in November 2011, the RBZ arbitrarily orchestrated the “deprivation of my liberty without just cause…”

“You should be aware that on June 30, 2011 … Caps Holdings shareholders approved the restructuring and recapitalisation of the company,” Mutanda said. “My prosecution was brought before the courts so as to satisfy the political aims of dispossessing me of my Caps shareholding.

“”It is after I challenged the Judiciary and the procedures of the criminal justice system, that the RBZ was once again directed by government to acquire Caps Holdings,” he said.

“The inevitable conclusion is that the government of Zimbabwe must now unconditionally comply with our agreement of November 15, 2015, settle my delictual claim agreement of December 28, 2015, and return immovable properties misappropriated by former Caps executives, pay reparations for extra-judicial seizure and destruction of my assets. It must do so promptly and fully,” wrote Mutanda. “If not, to that end, I demand and direct that government forthwith sign all share transfer forms for the shareholding that the government purportedly holds in Caps Manufacturing Limited and Caps Healthcare Limited. It should regularise any changes made to the record of St Anne’s Hospital, QV Pharmacies (Private) Limited, Autosterile (Private) Limited.”

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