Noczim House under hammer over debt

HARARE - State oil importer, National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim)’s headquarters in Harare will in just over two weeks go under the hammer over a $1 million debt owed to sacked managers, the Daily News can reveal.

Four former Noczim managers Netsai Masiyanise, Isaac Mhaka, Clever Maodzwa, Tendai Mangezi and Krispen Mashange successfully sued Noczim in the Labour Court and were awarded $1 035 255,00 in severance packages.

But Noczim withheld their packages claiming they had unearthed “financial irregularities” committed by the sacked managers after an internal audit.

The deputy sheriff has advised the managers’ lawyer Rogers Matsikidze of Matsikidze and Mucheche legal practitioners that the multi-storey building in central Harare will go under the hammer on October 19 to recover the severance packages.

That means Noczim is now set to lose its headquarters in Harare which industry sources say is valued at no less than $7 million, unless the managers are paid their dues in full.

“I refer to your letter of  August 23 with enclosures and advice that the sale of the defendant’s (Noczim) immovable property will be held at 10am on Friday, October 19, 2012,” said the deputy sheriff’s notice to the managers’ lawyer.

“I enclose a copy of the conditions of sale and a copy of the notice will appear shortly in the government Gazette.”.

Insiders told the Daily News the deputy sheriff had dithered on the sale-off of Noczim properties because he could not locate the title deeds. This reportedly forced the managers’ lawyers to find them and forward them to the High Court, prompting the impending sale.

Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma claims the sacked managers embezzled up to $13 million, an allegation they strenuously reject.

They have challenged the minister to substantiate his claims.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mangoma said government will avert the sell-off of Noczim House.

“It will be irresponsible for me to let Noczim House be sold, we will find ways of sorting it out,” the Energy minister said.

Asked whether government had the $1 million to pay off the debt, Mangoma was non-committal.

“I cannot say as of now that we have the money but we will find a way around the issue,” he said.

“As for the audit and the missing money, investigations were done and evidence forwarded to the relevant authorities. Unfortunately I am not an arresting authority.

“We believe in the rule of law and the High Court has made a ruling, we must comply,” he said.

The High Court in March awarded a writ of execution and ordered the deputy sheriff to attach the Noczim headquarters in central Harare and other properties belonging to the fuel importer.”

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