Dr. Solanki, ex CEO for African Medical, breaks silence, strikes back

ATLANTA, U.S.–The chairman of AMI, Mr. Phil Edmonds, a former England cricket player turned mining magnate in Africa, went after Solanki through newly appointed, chief financial officer and director Brett Windstone and the action led to the issuance of a “non-executed” warrant of arrest by South African police with evidence to be produced soon by Deloitte’s team of forensic auditors.\r\n

Months after the allegations surfaced, Deloitte in Johannesburg is yet to produce the much-awaited forensic report and attempts to contact Burt Botha, leader of the investigating team, have failed. Dr. Solanki has now broken his silence and spoke to us for the first time.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing and said people he had disagreements with connived against him. And contrary to speculation that he was a fugitive, Solanki said “I am not running from the law, rather from the threats made to myself and my family.”

During the last eight months police, without warrants, conducted several searches at his homes in Johannesburg and Harare. His associate in Harare faced similar “harassment”. The doctor said police claimed they were “looking for firearms dug in the garden and drugs” but each time they came up empty. On all occasions AMI staff accompanied the police, he added.

Solanki is a prominent medical practitioner in South Africa and Zimbabwe. A third generation Zimbabwean of Indian ancestry, he was educated under a Zimbabwe government scholarship program for gifted students with no funding. The past 22 years of his career was dedicated to building innovative health clinics in Africa: South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya and Zimbabwe. 

Evidence does show that an analysis by the state laboratory in Bloemfontein of the vaccines used at the airport clinics in Johannesburg has proved the legitimacy of the vaccines produced by Pasteur Laboratories and used worldwide including by the World Health Organization.

And people aware of his efforts in the health field speak well of him. An individual who asked for anonymity said “Doc is a true Zimbabwean patriot who has brought several new and innovative medical facilities to Zimbabwe over the past 16 years despite poor local economic conditions.”

In spite of his failed attempt to open the Parkview Hospital in Harare due to a partnership dispute, the doctor went on to establish the Emergency Rooms, Well Woman Clinic, Cardiac Centre, and Trauma Centre and refurbished numerous private and state clinics in the country. 

During the 2008 cholera outbreak, which claimed thousands of lives in Zimbabwe, records indicate that Solanki provided free medicines to hundreds of patients there. 

“If you were over the age of 65, you were given free treatment at Solanki’s clinics,” one of his former patients told a Maravipost.com correspondent.

Genesis of Dispute

According to Solanki, he raised questions about a purchase of a corporate jet. Andrew Groves, a director of AMI who also holds directorships on several listed companies including White Nile, Sable Mining, Boss Mining and Agriterra, bought the jet for USD$1,3m and resold to AMI for USD$3,5m with chairman Edmonds’ aware of it. Further, there were disputes relating to alleged cash money transfers of $250, 000 which Groves transported on the jet on a couple of occasions. 

It has emerged through investigation of flight records that the corporate jet used by the directors was used to transfer cash notes to Liberia where the Assistant Minister for Mines at the Lands and Mines Ministry, James Konuwa, was alleged to have been “encouraged” to grant mining licenses at the Bopulu and Timbo concessions under their local company Southern Cross Investments Limited which is controlled by Sable Mining. It’s been established that Liberian authorities are probing Southern Cross’ activities in Liberia.

The problems for the organisation’s British directors have extended to their activities through Agriterra and Procana in Mozambique where authorities forced the closure of one of their milling plants in Tete. There is also an active investigation into their alleged role in hoarding half a million tons of maize at their Chimoio plant managed by Euwen Kay. 

Last year, several people died from the riots relating to rise in prices for the staple food, maize in Mozambique.

Solanki said he was accused by AMI directors and chairman Edmonds of colluding with suppliers such as Marlene Interiors, Van der Westuizen and Machado contractors and Dansk Medical. Their heated debate resulted in the resignation of Solanki in May, 2010 but was rejected by the directors and Solanki said he was asked to stay to safe-guard the share price.

The directors then appointed Brett Windstone, a former Camec employee to a post of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and director to assist AMI accountants John Raath and Neil Clayton to streamline financial controls in the company.

Solanki said Windstone convinced the directors to suspend him for financial misconduct, which led to resignation by the former CEO in July 2010. He has reservations about Windstone’s skills in managing the finances of a listed company and believes he was brought in to bring him down because by now they feared he was going to expose the AMI director’s activities around Africa. 

The former CEO charges that Windstone went with a South African “private investigator”, and Grove’s friend, Wayne, to various suppliers and told them to provide evidence against Solanki.

How did he know that? 

A former employee working on the audit against Solanki told him that Windstone “‘shouted at me over the phone stating – find something on Doc if you want to get paid!’ ”

Windstone’s Exit

Windstone resigned together with the chief accountant Etienne Coetzee at short notice in Dec 2010. Solanki said Windstone had failed to turn around the fortunes of AMI. Windstone subsequently filed for bankruptcy from which it has emerged that he and John Raath allegedly paid a South African Police investigating officer some ZAR80, 000 to have Solanki arrested in South Africa.

Documents indicate Raath opened an array of companies and bank accounts in Mauritius for AMI. Foreign cash was transferred under his control on the company corporate jet to numerous external accounts and has connections with people who know how to game the system. Raath, aka “Mafia accountant” has has been working for and with Groves and Edmonds for the past 10 years. Raath operates out of his Pretoria office under Lerato Development Corporation (PTY) Ltd.

Records indicate that Raath and a former employee of AMI, Wessel Roots, were controllers of finances for AMI and not Solanki.

Solanki’s travel documents indicate that he spent most of his time, between 2008 and 2010, in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique building and managing hospitals. It is however the same time the doctor is said to have been giving injections and receiving payment for his services in South Africa.

No assets for AMI in Zim?

INVESTIGATIONS in Zimbabwe have unearthed another fact that AMI doesn’t own any assets in Zimbabwe. So where does that leave the allegation that  Zarina Dudhia – police also searched her house for firearms – the manager of Solanki’s landmark Trauma Centre for the past 16 years, stole money from AMI through their local agent Jeremy Sandford?. 

It’s transpired that Sandford, with presence of five armed accomplices, forcefully removed USD$200,000 from the safe at the Clinic, and then accused Zarina of stealing the money. The money stolen from the safe belongs to the Trauma Centre and not AMI. 

We have failed to establish any legitimate assets nor any legally registered company belonging to AMI in Zimbabwe, although they do have offices at 9 Ridgeway Drive, Chisipite in Harare and claim ownership of Solanki’s Clinic on 15 Lanark Rd, Belgravia.

Say what you like about bad governance in Zimbabwe, Solanki stands up for the country.

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Solanki with Mozambique pres Guebuza

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\r\n“It’s shame that the British directors are using their friends in the ruling party for personal gain against me and tarnishing the good governance that exists in the country.” 

Solanki believes in Zimbabwe and to prove it, he carried on with his medical ventures there despite being ridiculed numerous times and asked to close down his clinics in protest against the government.

The forensic audit ordered by AMI in Zimbabwe by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) has been declared illegal and inadmissible in court, as AMI doesn’t own the Autoband Investments Private Limited, which runs Trauma Centre. Both are owned by Solanki’s local Trust. 

Legal Action

SOLANKI has said he isn’t running away from the law. If anything, he’s “in chase of the public prosecutor who is yet to lay charges against me”.

But not to wait forever, he has instituted legal action through attorney Jonathan Samukange against PWC and AMI for illegal audit and return of his clinic in Harare.

The doctor is apparently is the owner of Streamline Investments, the local company that owns the land on which the clinic was built and was removed from it by Jeremy Sandford and Chairman Charles Mushambidzi.

“My court actions against AMI will clear my name and prove my innocence as AMI agents have failed to destroy evidence incriminating them,” said Solanki. “I believe in truth; I have faith and justice will prevail!”

Did Solanki’s threats to expose the directors cause panic resulting in a rushed conspiracy to frame and discredit him? 

The share price of AMI has tumbled drastically from a high of 26p to 0,03p since Solanki’s departure. 

The British and American director’s shares in their other listed companies haven’t fared any better either. And while Solanki’s Trust is the second largest shareholder in AMI Plc. with 24 million shares, the largest shareholder is the American hedge fund, Harbinger Capital, managed by billionaire Philip Falcone. 

Falcone has recently seen his empire tumble from a high of $26bn down to the current $6bn of assets under its management. Falcone has divested from assets in Australia to invest in ventures in Africa including AMI, Sable Mining and African Minerals which are managed by Groves and Edmonds.

As Africa seeks meaningful investment that leads to improvement in the lives of locals, our readers will be updated as developments occur.–maravipost

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