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EXCLUSIVE: Former VP Mphoko speaks on Choppies saga

by Mandla Ndlovu
12 Dec 2018 at 10:55hrs | Views
Former Vice President Prelekezela Mphoko has set the record straight from his perspective on the boardroom struggles bedevilling one of the biggest retail companies in the country, Choppies Zimbabwe.

On Tuesday, the Botswana based Choppies Entreprise CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu sent to Bulawayo24 what they called bank deposit proof that the Mphoko family own 7% of Choppies Zimbabwe.

We publish Hon. Mphoko's version below:

On 22 May 2018, Ramachandran Ottapathu, telephoned me, after I had refused to sign a document which was giving us the Mphoko family 7% in a partnership between Nanavac Investments (PVT) T/A Choppies Zimbabwe, and 93% for Choppies Enterprises Limited.

Ramachandran Ottapathu, informed that he was told by H. E. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, when he visited Botswana, that he has scrapped the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act. Therefore, there was need to review the Shareholdings between Nanavac Investments (PVT ) Limited T/A Choppies Zimbabwe, and Choppies Enterprises Limited.

My response, to Ramachandran Ottapathu, was through an Email and explained that the Shareholding was 51% for Nanavac and 49% for Choppies Enterprises.

I informed Mr. Ramachandran Ottapathu that the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme, is an Act of Parliament in Zimbabwe, signed into law by a Head of State, whose main aim is to empower indigenous Zimbabweans or any person who before the 18th April 1980, was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of his or her race and any descendant of such person, and includes any Company, Association, Syndicate or Partnership of which indigenous Zimbabweans form the majority of the members or hold the controlling interest.
This is an ongoing Government programme which demands support and promotion by all Government Ministries, Companies and Institutions.
Ramachandran Ottapathu refers to the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme as a stupid law of Mugabe, and former President Festus Mogae, expects me, as being a former Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, an enforcer of Zimbabwean laws, to undermine, Zimbabwean laws, and become a front for a foreign company with 7% shares and 93% shares for a foreign company in a reserved sector. That is a crime both in Zimbabwe and in Botswana too. That is why Ramachandran Ottapathu naturalised himself to become a Motswana because retailers business is a reserved area.

According to official documents deposited in various Government Departments and other relevant institutions, the subject of shares between Nanavac Investments (PVT) and Choppies Enterprises Limited is well articulated. All documents at hand states that in Zimbabwe, Mr. Phelekezela Mphoko and Mr. Siqokoqela Mphoko are partners of Choppies Enterprises Limited

Shareholdings being;
Mr. Phelekezela Mphoko 25.5%
Mr. Siqokoqela Mphoko 25.5%
Choppies Enterprises Limited 49%.

Anything else is illegal in Zimbabwe.

My son and his wife are in court having been dragged in by Ramachandran Ottapathu. They have gone through untold humiliation, charged with money laundering and other charges. This has gone too far to be taken light by any partner.

Ramachandran Ottapathu has called us names which do not fit in our characters.

Source - Byo24News