Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Telecel Zimbabwe is imploding with the companyâs founding shareholder Mr Leo Mugabe branding his co-founders Dr James Makamba, Dr Jane Mutasa and Dr Philip Chiyangwa as doctors of âextortionâ bleeding investors of their shares in the mobile phone operator. Mr Mugabe, who is fighting tooth and nail to have a fair equity in the company he helped establish mid 90s, said evidence was abundant to expose the trioâs shenanigans at the company.
The trio holds majority shares in Empowerment Corporation, which holds 40 percent shareholding in Telecel. The accusation comes after Government â through the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services â cancelled the agreement that allowed the mobile phone company to operate.
The Government, however, will not force its closure as it seeks to tide over the business to more responsible investors. Mr Mugabe applauded the Governmentâs tough decision against Telecel, saying it was a welcome development designed to protect the company and investors from extortion by the three doctors. âWe have had three doctors of extortion in the Empowerment Co-operation namely Makamba, Mutasa and Chiyangwa, extorting the general public of their shares, flagrantly taking away the value Government had given to the general populace in the form of the AAG (Affirmative Action Group), IBBO ( Indigenous Business Women Organisation) and war veterans, among others,â said Mr Mugabe.
âWe are happy and we commend the stance Government has taken. We are ready to give Government all the evidence of extortion that happened in the past 17 years, not just extortion, but also outright theft.â
Dr Chiyangwa snapped at the accusation saying any mutterings from Mr Mugabe were kicks of a dead horse.
He said Mr Mugabe, through his company IEG, issued a cheque that bounced when others were contributing real money to make the project a success.
âThis was around 1998 when we had just started. In business you must be as honourable to others as they are to you,â said Dr Chiyangwa.
âWe were together when he failed to meet his part of the bargain and this is one person who even after the meeting did fail to come up with the money. I am utterly shocked to hear that he calls us crooks, who does he want to crook here?â Dr Chiyangwa added: âLeo, you did not pay, so rest in peace.
âYou donât go around issuing bouncing cheques and you claim value.â
Drs Makamba and Mutasa could not be reached for comment at the time of going to Press last night.