Mr. Tawanda Nyambirai a liar on MTN – Part 5
The dispute as to the ownership of equipment that in terms of the Econet IPO Prospectus belonged to TS Masiyiwa Investments Private Limited (TSM), a company styled as Mr. Strive Masiyiwa’s family enterprise, rages on.
It has pitted Mr. Tawanda Nyambirai and Mr. Tich Mutyambizi on the one hand who have so far steadfastly argued that facts exist in support of the contention that in truth and fact.
The equipment that immediately prior to the listing of Econet was represented as TSM’s property, no fraud or corruption can legitimately be asserted.
Both Messrs. Nyambirai and Mutyambizi have yet to disclose their interest in this dispute but it would appear that they are acting on behalf of Mr. Masiyiwa whose integrity seems to be at issue.
In terms of the Econet matter, it is not in dispute that the licence was granted by the High Court following Econet’s challenge of the award of the second mobile phone network licence to Telecel (Zimbabwe) Private Limited (Telecel Zim) in December 1997.
Prior to that no private provider was permitted to operate this service in Zimbabwe.
The equipment in question was purchased prior to Econet being granted the second licence after the Court had reviewed and set aside the award to Telecel Zim.
The question that Ms. Miriam Mutizwa seeks to address in this Part 5 of her conversation with Mr. Nyambirai and indirectly with Mr. Masiyiwa deal with the alleged relationship between Econet and MTN, a South African-based mobile network operator.
Mr. Masiyiwa’s shareholding in Econet arises from the equipment that Mr. Nyambirai claims to have been purchased by Econet from Ericsson with the financial assistance from Telecel International to the tune of $1 million.
Mr. Nyambirai with the support of Mr. Mutyambizi have sought to present a narrative that involves Telecel International converting its right, title and interest to the Ericsson manufactured equipment into a 40% equity interest in Econet.
If this Nyambirai version is true, it means that at some point, Telecel International was a bona fide shareholder of Econet.
Assuming the $1 million advanced by Telecel International was equivalent to 40% of equity in Econet, it means that the value of Econet would have been $2.5 million implying that TSM would have contributed about $1.5 million towards the equipment supplied by Ericsson.
The question that then arises and ought to be addressed is how and when did TSM acquire the necessary financing to contribute to the equipment whose value could only be a minimum of $2.5 million if the shareholding allocated to TSM being 60% of Econet’s issued share capital is to be justified?
Against the above backdrop, Ms. Mutizwa writes as follows:
“Dear Mr. Nyambirai,
I am sure you will agree with me that at the core of the dispute regarding the equipment that formed the basis of TSM being the controlling shareholder of Econet is whether TSM and in turn Mr. Masiyiwa had any pecuniary interest in this equipment.
I have taken cognizance of what you posted on your Facebook wall as follows:
I am really baffled that after what Mr. Gatt said in relation to the equipment that it was impossible for TSM to have any interest in it as the equipment purchased exclusively by Telecel International, you would have the audacity of insisting that the equipment belonged to TSM.
If it is accepted according to your version that Telecel was the immediate predecessor of MTN as the foreign shareholder of Econet, then the right, title and interest to shares allegedly held by Telecel International would have been vested in Telecel International.
It would follow that Telecel International would have had the right to sell its shares directly to MTN rather than having TSM involved in shares that would have fallen outside its control. Telecel International would have had the full control of the right, title and interest of its 40% shareholding in Econet and disposal to MTN would have been by itself only.
Notwithstanding, I have confirmed with a representative of MTN who has categorically stated that your version that MTN became a partner of Econet prior to listing is false.
He said it would have been unheard of for a listed company like MTN to acquire shares in a speculative entity like Econet at the time when the issue of licensing was still in dispute.
“I challenge the people who are making the allegations to provide proof that MTN was at any time a technical partner of Econet. You would not need to search any further than the Econet court documents when it challenged the Telecel Zimbabwe aware to establish that this is hogwash,” he said.
It is strange that you would seek to implicate MTN and Telecel International in a fraudulent scheme that was intended to credit Mr. Masiyiwa with a 60% controlling shareholding in Econet on the basis of equipment that was purchased by and belonged to Telecel International.
“It is a fraudulent representation that TSM bought the shares and loan account held by MTN. From the facts that you have represented, MTN was supposed to have stepped into the shoes of Telecel International. If this is correct, then MTN ought to have paid Telecel International for its shares in Econet. Can you not see that this is a fraudster trying to misrepresent facts with a view to benefiting from such misrepresentations? It is not at all clear to me why MTN is being dragged into this fraud,” said the MTN representative.
Since you claim to have been personally involved in the transaction involving MTN, I hope you will provide the necessary documentary evidence supporting your version.
This issue has been sufficiently dealt with on Twitter and I believe that no satisfactory resolution can be achieved unless competent authorities are seized with the matter.
I do not believe that there can be multiple versions in relation to pieces of equipment that was allegedly supplied by a single vendor being Ericsson.
The movement of the documents, goods and funds should easily be traceable as would the alleged involvement of MTN in the chain.
Your involvement in the dispute regarding the equipment speaks volumes about its materiality on the question of whether Mr. Masiyiwa’s shareholding was a consequence of fraud and corruption.
Ordinarily, Mr. Masiyiwa would have responded in his own words and with documents supporting the version that foreign equipment lawfully ended up in the hands of Econet and TSM resulting in TSM having the authority to sell equipment to Econet in exchange for shares in Econet without demonstrating who the source of funds of the equipment was.
What I know from my elementary accounting is that in respect of any transaction, there must be a debit and credit. It would follow that when the equipment was allegedly purchased by TSM, the asset account would have been debited and there ought to have been a contra credit entry.
That entry ought to have revealed the source of funds for TSM whose shareholders were not people of means at the time to justify your assertion that this equipment could possibly be the unencumbered property of TSM.
The mere fact that TSM sold the equipment to Econet presupposes that the equipment had been purchased from TSM’s own resources.
You have so far failed to identify the source of funds to pay to MTN as alleged.
If TSM used its own resources, then the list of the company’s shareholders in the Econet IPO Prospectus contradicts your own self-created version.
In addition, you have confirmed throigh the Facebook post that all the shareholders of TSM at the time of the IPO were beneficiaries of donated shares leaving Mr. Masiyiwa as the donor.
However, it would be common sense that for one to be a donor the person ought to be the lawful owner of the object to be donated.
In this case, one has to zero on Mr. Masiyiwa himself to establish how he personally ended up as the donor?
It would mean that the decision to fraudulently take the possession of equipment that did not belong to him was made by him personally with intent to benefiting himself with 100% control of TSM.
It should be self-evident that should the version that you have presented that the equipment was owned by TSM fail to be supported by evidence, the inescapable conclusion is that Mr. Masiyiwa personally committed fraud with the intent of benefiting himself directly.
It also follows that you may be a direct beneficiary of this fraud hence your spirited anticipatory defence.
You will recall that Tsitsi Masiyiwa implored all of us to be true to the cause of justice.
In this case, I think you will agree with me that she and her husband ought to bring us to their confidence as to how they really converted Telecel International’s equipment and later 40% Econet shareholding to their benefit without the consent of Telecel International?
Mr. Gatt has confirmed that the equipment was stolen. You have so far failed to explain how TSM acquired this equipment without any obligations at all.
The only plausible explanation is that no asset can cause itself to be in anyone’s lawful possession without a defined and competent buyer and seller.
Please produce the agreements of sale between Econet and Telecel International, and then between Econet and TSM.
In this matter, you have sought to speak on behalf of both the seller and the buyer.
It would be beneficial if you could indicate who you are representing in this dispute so that I can also know whether to take you as an accomplish to this crime or not.
I do not believe that Mr. Masiyiwa can morally, legally and constitutionally justly claim ownership of equipment or property that was purchased by Telecel International without showing the mechanism or magic allowing this to become a reality.
It cannot be just and fair for anyone to infringe on a third party’s property rights in this blatant and brazen manner.
I will share this article and letter to all the interested parties including the law enforcement authorities in Zimbabwe who have the power to demand all the supporting documents that you claim to have in your possession.
I have also taken the liberty to copy the same to MTN and Mr. Gatt so that they can respond accordingly to all the allegations you have made in the public domain that money exchanged hands in respect of the equipment to Telecel and MTN.