Makamba a wanted man

Businessman Mr James Makamba still has a warrant of arrest hanging around his neck — 13 years after skipping the border over externalisation charges.

The Sunday Mail Business established that the Harare magistrates’ court issued a warrant of arrest for Mr Makamba on August 31, 2005.

The Empowerment Corporation chair had failed to attend court to answer six counts of violating the Exchange Control Act.

Mr Makamba fled the country in 2005 and hibernated in South Africa for over a decade, only to resurface in December 2017.

A former Zanu-PF central committee member, Mr Makamba has vast business interests in telecommunications, agriculture, retail, mining and digital publishing.

The businessman has not been cleared of illegally dealing in foreign currency under case number CRB 12678-81/04.

Approached for comment, Mr Makamba declined to discuss the matter.

“I have been misquoted a lot of times and I am not ready to comment over the phone. I prefer face to face,” he said.

However, Mr Makamba could not commit to any meeting.

This comes amidst a fierce fight over the control of Empowerment Corporation (EC), which has a 40 percent stake in Telecel Zimbabwe. Mr Makamba is still referring himself as Telecel chair by virtue of his shares in the EC, even though he reportedly sold his stake. EC was set up in 1998 to ensure locals had a stake in the telecommunications business and this saw various local organisations such as Mr Makamba’s Kestrel Corporation, Dr Jane Mutasa’s Selphon Investments, Magamba eChimurenga, Integrated Engineering Group, National Miners Association and the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, getting shares.

Mr Makamba sparked a fight last month after writing to Telecel Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Mrs Angeline Vere, announcing the withdrawal of lawyer Mr Gerald Mlotshwa as a Telecel Zimbabwe director.

Mr Mlotshwa’s lawyers — Mushoriwa Pasi Corporate Attorneys — have since wrote back to Mr Makamba and Telecel, disputing the move to remove their client from the company board of directors.

Mr Makamba wrote to Mrs Vere purporting that EC directors had met and resolved to get rid of Mr Mlotshwa.

However, EC company secretary Mr Chemunofira Caston Chikosi, in a sworn affidavit, shot down M0r Makamba’s claim that EC directors met.

“I am aware of the sale of the Kestrel Corporation Limited shares to George Manyere and Gerald Mlotshwa. I confirm that I was instructed by Dr Makamba to prepare and update financial statements of Empowerment Corporation (Private) Limited in light of this transaction,” he said.

“I have seen minutes or extracts of minutes of a meeting purportedly by Mr Makamba and Dr (Jane) Mutasa in or around the 16th of May 2018.

“However, as company secretary, I am not aware of any such meeting and cannot authenticate these minutes or extract thereof.”

Recently, Mr Makamba was dragged to court by Mr Manyere over a $2,7 million debt, which Mr Mlotshwa had initially undertook to take over on condition that the EC chair transfers equivalent shares to him.

The Sunday Mail Business gleaned EC meeting minutes dated February 9, 2017, which confirm that Mr Makamba’s Krestel had ceded its shares in EC to Mr Mlotshwa over a debt owed to Mr Manyere.

In part, the minutes read: “It was noted that negotiations for the disposal of Krestel’s shares, after the Brainworks acquisition had been taken into account, had been ongoing for a number of months between Mr Makamba and Mr Mlotshwa.

“It was agreed and resolved that the parties conclude the necessary sale and purchase agreements (SPA) in respect of the disposal. It was emphasised that fair and actual consideration would need to be paid for these shares by Mr Mlotshwa.

“The lawyers retained by Mr Manyere for the MHMK Group acquition of Krestel’s shares would also be returned for the purposes of concluding the disposal to Mr Mlotshwa of Krestel’s remaining 30.25 percent in EC.”

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