Nigel Chanakira Vs. John Moxo takes a new twist

HARARE – FORMER Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited (KMAL) chairman, John Moxon, has raised conflict of interest allegations against BCA Forensic Audit Services and his rival, Nigel Chanakira.\r\n

BCA is the audit firm engaged by the government last year to sniff through allegations of externalisation of foreign currency made against Moxon and a cluster of companies that he represents.

In January, the government specified Moxon to pave the way for the investigations. Moxon is currently fighting to have his specification lifted saying it was done unprocedurally.

In fresh allegations — in an application filed with the High Court recently — that add intrigue to his battle for de-specification, Moxon alleges that Chanakira authorised a US$30 000 payment to BCA, for services that were not explained.
Chanakira is the former KMAL chief executive officer and founder of Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited (KFHL).

The Kingdom founder fell out with Moxon after he shot down the sale of Cape Grace Hotel in South Africa and pressed externalisation charges against Moxon.

The boardroom wrangling took its toll on the KMAL business resulting in Econet, a 10 percent shareholder in the group, successfully proposing the de-merger of the group to end the acrimony.

In court papers filed at the High Court in June, Moxon alleges that the payment to BCA compromised the investigators’ impartiality. BCA director, Budhama Chikamhi, is the first respondent in the case while Cleopas Mukungunugwa, another BCA director, is the second respondent.

“Highly publicised press reports suggest that the chief executive officer of Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited was the first person to allege externalisation of foreign currency,” said the self-exiled businessman.

“He is one of the complainants in the (externalisation) matter. The first respondent received US$30 000 from one of the companies under Kingdom Meikles Limited. An investigator cannot receive payments from the company he is required to investigate and maintain his impartiality.

“Furthermore, he cannot receive payments from complainants in the matter he is investigating without compromising his independence and impartiality. The payment will, obviously, have been authorised by the chief executive officer of Kingdom Meikles Limited,” added Moxon.

Moxon alleged that Chikamhi demanded as much as US$180 000 for services from one of the complainants in the externalisation investigation, but had to be paid US$130 000 after fierce protests from Moxon and his camp.

He said, as a result of the US$30 000 transaction, BCA ended up with “real and substantial” interest in his specification.
The former KMAL chairman said US$30 000 was a substantial amount of money for BCA, which he described as a small business operating from a house in a residential area, which is not zoned for commercial use. Moxon said the second respondent used a rural address.

“His own base appears to be a plot in the rural township of Glendale. It is not clear if he has any formal commercial premises. Consequently, it is natural for the two respondents to have developed personal interests in the matter,” Moxon said in the application.

An investigation carried out by BCA that was presented to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after Moxon and Chanakira fell out over the disposal of the Cape Grace Hotel alleged that the South African-based businessman had externalised US$43 million.

The externalised money became the basis for government to specify Moxon in January, triggering a corporate battle that led to the collapse of the diversified group’s merger in June when 98 percent of shareholders gave nod to its unbundling.
in papers filed with the High Court on June 29, Moxon said the Meikles family, with a 43 percent shareholding in the group, had been taken by surprise by government’s attitude, especially the specification of the entire family, including a mental patient who had no idea as to what was taking place in the company.

Meanwhile, KFHL has downplayed reports it has opened negotiations with First National Bank that might result in the South African bank acquiring a substantial interest in the Zimbabwean institution.

“Kingdom Financial Holdings is always exploring various strategies to grow and expand the business to enhance shareholder value. Such strategies include holding exploratory discussions with potential investors.

“However, there are no plans by First National Bank of South Africa to invest in Kingdom as reported in your newspaper,” KFHL said this week.

A de-merger in June from KMAL created a huge funding gap at KFHL that has caused shareholders to hunt for potential partners in order to comply with the central bank’s minimum capital requirements. Financial Gazett