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Dutch investor seeks Mnangagwa's intervention over US$8m botched venture with Zimbabwe partner

by Staff reporter
07 Dec 2022 at 05:22hrs | Views
Director of Dutch-based investor Euro LPG BV Omar Abdallah, has sought the intervention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa after the Sheriff failed to act on a High Court order overturning a controversial Seizure Warrant used to confiscate the energy firm's assets worth over US$8 million.

Euro LPG BV in 2019 entered into a joint venture with local partner Francis Chitanda and his company InterGas to form Integrated Gas Distribution Infrastructure (Pvt) Ltd (IGDI).

Despite the fact that Chitanda and his company's intentions were unclear in the early stages of the joint venture, Euro LPG BV exercised maximum restraint in order to find an amicable solution, with high hopes that the joint venture would be a success.

Chitanda and InterGas failed to account for profits throughout the joint venture, prompting Euro LPG BV's director Omar Abdallah to take over management of the partnership in the fourth quarter of 2021 after it was discovered that IGDI assets were being illegally disposed of by Chitanda.

A legal battle erupted between the Dutch investor and Chitanda, resulting in the latter seizing the assets of the joint venture.

The warrant was however recently overturned by a High Court order issued by Justice Justice Bongani Ndhlovu.

The Sheriff, on the other hand, refused to release the seized equipment, claiming that they had forgotten where it was kept.

This prompted Abdallah to write to Mnangagwa on November 11 detailing how his firm had been defrauded by his former local partner assets worth US$8 million in the failed ambitious gas venture.

According to the letter, despite Euro LPG BV investing various capital of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) equipment into the failed joint venture, such as modular LPG storage and filling stations, LPG storage tanks, and LPG road tanker transport equipment, no profits have been realized since the venture's inception in 2019.

Abdallah alleges InterGas continued to use IGDI assets between 2019 and 2021 without accounting for returns to the joint or main investor.

In an interview, Abdallah criticized the Sheriff for failing to release the equipment despite having been paid the court fees to do so, and he also accused the Sheriff of misleading the investor to another location of a gas company that did not house the said equipment.

"Not only was the Seizure Warrant obtained unlawfully and without due process in favour of these people.

"After having won a court order for the Sheriff to return our equipment and they are now saying they forgot where the equipment is. They even went as far as misleading us about the location of another gas company in Graniteside.

"The Sheriff went as far as getting an asset belonging to another company unrelated to IGDI under code of a Generic Serial Number and went to swear under oath that it was seized based on a Generic Serial Number despite being informed that the Serial No. on the specific asset did not match the order," Abdallah said.

Chitanda, when reached out for comment, declined to comment stating he could only comment after his trial on one of the cases emanating from the dispute.

Source - ZimLive