Mr. Tawanda Nyambirai’s proxy fraud exposed – Part 4 of Ms. Miriam Mutizwa’s rebuttal
A dispute has arisen seemingly between Mr. Tawanda Nyambirai and Ms. Miriam Mutizwa relating to the origins of the financing of Econet with Mr. Nyambirai alleging via a Facebook post on his wall that it is true and factual that the equipment that was represented in the IPO transaction as belonging to Strive Masiyiwa’s family investment vehicle, TS Masiyiwa Investments Private Limited (TSM) was partly financed by Telecel International pursuant to an arrangement involving Ericsson, as the original equipment manufacturer as well as financier.
It is important to note that both Mr. Nyambirai and Ms. Mutizwa have no personal knowledge about the facts and circumstances of the equipment that was capitalized into Econet as part of what Mr. Nyambirai refers to as TSM’s equity contribution to Econet.
Ms. Mutizwa has disputed Mr. Nyambirai’s version and characterized it as false and fraudulent simply because no facts have been presented by Mr. Nyambirai to support what she considers to be a self-serving version that on the face of it justifies the issuance of shares by Econet to TSM representing 60% of the company’s issued share capital.
Mr. Nyambirai has asserted that he is privy to the facts and he has presented himself as a public advocate for Mr. Masiyiwa and Econet.
What is Mr. Nyambirai’s version? This version is as set out in his own words as follows:
According to Mr. Nyambirai the imported equipment that found itself in the Econet IPO as having been sold to Econet by TSM had been imported by Econet’s technical partner, Telecel International.
It is on the relationship between Telecel, TSM and Econet that Ms. Mutizwa in Part 4 of her rebuttal to Mr. Nyambirai’s tweet on 6 January 2019 as follows:
Dear Mr. Nyambirai,
This is Part 4 of my rebuttal in respect of your unsubstantiated evidence in relation to my allegation that the representation in the Econet IPO to the effect that TSM was the lawful owner of the equipment that you allege was acquired by Econet pursuant to a financing facility that was partly financed by Telecel International, is fraudulent.
This dispute about this equipment and your representation in your post on your Facebook wall on 6 January 2019 set out below has been brought to the attention of Mr. Joe Gatt, former Telecel International Chief Executive Officer.
You stated that: “The words attributed to Ms Miriam Mutizwa in an attempt to explain the Econet IPO share issue statistics make a distortion of the financial facts.” implying that my version represented a version of the true nature of the transaction involving the disputed equipment.
You stated that: “The words attributed to Ms Miriam Mutizwa in an attempt to explain the Econet IPO share issue statistics make a distortion of the financial facts.”
This implied that my version represented a distorted version of the true nature of the transaction involving the disputed equipment.
In the premises, it was incumbent upon me to verify the veracity of your version that: “Telecel International had been a shareholder in Econet long before the IPO,” and given that you have willingly sought to shield and substitute Mr. Masiyiwa in this important matter, there was no alternative but to approach a representative of Telecel International, who has personal knowledge about this matter.
Fortunately, it has been possible to contact Mr. Joe Gatt, who is based in the USA, to verify if your version that Telecel International was ever a shareholder of Econet. Mr. Gatt who was the CEO of Telecel International at the material time and also the co-founder of Telecel Zaire, the first mobile phone network provider in Africa, has emphatically said that your version is false.
He says that: “At no stage was Telecel International, a shareholder of Econet.
I do not know who this Nyambirai is but what I can confirm is that Telecel could not have withdrawn from Econet as there was no legal and financial relationship between the equipment and Econet at all.
The equipment in question was bought by Telecel International from Ericsson and paid for in full. This equipment was meant to be shipped to one of our African operations.
However, Mr. Masiyiwa who at the time was our preferred partner had begged for the equipment to be shipped to Zimbabwe to assist in convincing the Zimbabwean authorities that Econet had the required equipment in its possession and was ready to roll out the service.
I am not aware of any debt to Ericsson as alleged by Mr. Nyambirai in relation to the Telecel International equipment.
I have no idea of the a company called TSM and, therefore, I am unaware of how TSM, a local Zimbabwean company as you suggest, could have stepped into the shoes of Telecel International in respect of funds that were paid outside the borders of Zimbabwe.
There was no debt to Ericsson as the title to the equipment was transferred to Telecel International outside Zimbabwe and as such Telecel International paid for the freight and insurance.
The equipment was delivered to the order of Telecel International and at no stage did title to it vest in Econet or any other Zimbabwean company as this would have constituted a violation of the exchange control regulations of Zimbabwe.
I find it ridiculous that Mr. Nyambirai can attempt to import Ericsson in a dispute involving equipment that we paid for as Telecel International and for which Ericsson had no right at all to it.
It is fraudulent to suggest that: “The debt to Ericson for the purchase of the mobile switch and other equipment was taken over by TS Masiyiwa Holdings P/L from Econet.”
It is also a fraudulent representation that: “In other words, the equipment that was owned by Econet was paid for by TS Masiyiwa Holdings P/L on behalf of its 100% subsidiary, Econet.”
I am not aware of any circumstance in which Econet could claim any legitimate ownership ownership of the Telecel International equipment outside the realm of fraud and corruption.
As I have stated before, TSM as a Zimbabwean company could not pay for the equipment in Zimbabwean currency and as such I am baffled that Mr. Nyambirai could possibly believe that this company could pay for the equipment that belonged to our company without my knowledge.
I am not aware of the facts supporting Mr. Nyambirai’s statement that: “Well before the IPO, Econet secured another Technical Partner, MTN.”
You must be aware that at the time, we also had another operation in Zimbabwe under the name of Telecel Zimbabwe Limited, in which Telecel International was the holder of 60% of the company’s shareholding.
If MTN had been a shareholder of Econet, I would certainly have known about it as the industry was so small in Africa at the time.
I can confirm that Mr. Nyambirai is lying when he says that: “But TS Masiyiwa Holdings P/L acquired the 40% of Econet that was held by MTN well before the IPO in a restructuring exercise in preparation for the IPO.”
It was a legal impossibility for TSM to acquire any shareholding purportedly held by MTN, a foreign company, without disclosing the source of funds. I challenge Mr. Nyambirai to provide any proof showing that MTN was a holder of any shares in Econet as alleged.
I find it bizarre that Mr. Nyambirai could allege that: “The partnerships with Telecel International and MTN were in history and did not need to be disclosed in the Prospectus,” when no such partnership existed and could have existed given that the right to operate mobile phone networks in Zimbabwe was not permitted by law.
On what basis could Telecel International acquire shares in any unlicensed company. The equipment was brought into Zimbabwe at a time when the law did not permit the operation of any mobile phone network.
We agreed to send the equipment to Zimbabwe on risk and we could not possibly have taken shares in Econet prior to the resolution of the licensing issue.
In the premises, the allegation that: “Neither Telecel International nor MTN had any claim over Econet shares at the time of the IPO,” is factually incorrect as no shares were issued to Telecel International by Econet to the best of my knowledge.
I am, therefore, not sure what is meant by the statement that: “These had long been settled by TSM,” when TSM was not involved at all in the matter involving the Telecel International equipment.
I find it absurd that anyone could allege as follows: “When TSM took over the debt Econet had to Ericson in respect of the purchase of the telecommunications equipment, Econet credited TSM’s shareholder loan account with the value of the equipment, namely Z$64,720,000.00,” when Econet had no indebtedness to Ericsson in respect of the equipment that Telecel International had purchased.
I am not sure how anyone could possibly convert what could only be a fictitious loan in the manner alleged by this statement: “In order to strengthen the balance sheet of Econet, this shareholder loan was converted to shares.”
I am prepared to give my honest witness statement confirming that Telecel International’s equipment was fraudulently converted into the property of TSM, a company I have no knowledge of.”
I have the audio confirming the allegations made by Mr. Gatt that you are a proxy fraudster who is determined to conceal the true nature of the facts surrounding the Telecel International equipment.
I use the word “proxy” deliberately because you have failed to disclose your interest in coming to Mr. Masiyiwa’s spirited defence.
It is Mr. Masiyiwa who is known to Mr, Gatt and not you. In the audio in my possession, Mr. Gatt confirms having spoken to a lawyer in the USA who was representing Econet at the time.
The position of Telecel International was made known to Mr. Masiyiwa and his lawyer that the equipment was not be used in any commercial operation prior to the issuance of a valid operating license and without the permission from Telecel International.
Why would you seek to speak on behalf of Econet, MTN, Telecel International and Ericsson on the matter of the equipment and on issues that clearly fall outside your personal knowledge unless you are and were part of this fraudulent and corrupt scheme?
It is not clear what prejudice you stand to suffer by allowing the relevant parties including Mr. Masiyiwa to speak for themselves.
I am satisfied that Mr. Gatt’s version is not only plausible but makes logical sense that the equipment was purchased by Telecel International.
This equipment was delivered in Zimbabwe to the order of Telecel International.
That Econet, a shelf-company, had no wherewithal to purchase the imported equipment.
That Telecel International, a foreign company, agreed that the equipment could be used by Econet as reference in the bid to be a licensed operator.
That once the licence was granted to Econet, Telecel International was going to contribute the equipment to the company in return for equity.
That Econet without the knowledge of Telecel International devised a scheme to steal the equipment and Mr. Masiyiwa knowingly and wittingly proceed to fraudulently claim that, the equipment that he knew and ought to have known was the property of Telecel International was now the lawful property of TSM.
There is nothing that can change the true nature of the facts that Mr. Gatt has confirmed.
The credit in form of shares that was accorded to TSM instead of the rightful owner, Telecel International, was a fraud and part of a corrupt scheme that must be exposed.
If you do not withdraw your fabricated version, I will have no choice but to expose you and your colleagues.
I can confidently state that your allegation that: “For the details, please refer to the disclosure at paragraph 6 of the Statutory and General Information of the Econet Prospectus,” is yet another attempt by you to fully associate with the lies peddled by Masiyiwa in the Econet IPO Prospectus.
You and I now know that when you say: “Kindly note that the significance of this conversion was to strengthen the Econet Balance Sheet,” you are lying.
You and I know now that the only vehicle that could confer a controlling interest to Econet was the theft in broad daylight of the Telecel International equipment and when you state that: “This had nothing to do with giving Masiyiwa control of Econet. He already had control.” you are lying as Mr. Masiyiwa’s link with Econet was exclusively through TSM and in turn TSM’s link to Econet shares was through the Telecel International equipment.
In the premises, when you state that: “Of course the strengthening of the balance sheet meant the Company would be more valuable as its debt to TSM of Z$64,720,000 was extinguished. Indeed, 32.84% of the debt was actually written off by TSM,” you know and ought to know that this is far from the truth of the fraud in this matter.
I have no doubt that you will understand the true import of my message to you to come clean earlier than later.