Kereke wriggles in debt

HARARE - Maverick businessman Munyaradzi Kereke is reportedly embroiled in a legal wrangle with African Banking Corporation (BancABC) over a $184 989 debt, although the bank claims he has paid off the money.

The case, surfacing as the ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) senior staffer has continued to attract public attention for his fights with different people, comes as the young economist faces a possible foreclosure of one of his houses.

Kereke has attracted public attention through his controversial public fights with different people.

His previous proximity to power and wealth also gave him access to lines of credit available to very few.

Now drowning in debt, the ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe advisor is failing to repay his creditors, leaving him scrambling to salvage pieces of his fortune.

In a deepening court battle, creditor BancABC’s lawyers say the Rock Foundation Medical Centre (RMC) boss — represented by Gasa Nyamadzawo and Associates — accessed a $500 000 revolving credit facility and bought his sleek Range Rover sport car and four ambulances for his RMC Hospital, the lawyers say in court filings.

The loan was extended to Kereke in February 2011, when he was still at the RBZ, and the facility was supposed to be paid up in full by June 2012, the records show.

The 39-year-old economist has seen his fortunes wane since his January 2012 ouster from the Central Bank after clashing with his boss RBZ governor Gideon Gono.

In the wake of his dismissal from the Central Bank, he has made scurrilous allegations claiming the RBZ chief stole public funds — including $6,5 million to purchase real estate, cars and gold bullion for personal gain.

Gono has filed a $10 million defamation suit against Kereke saying the statements made by his former aide were made with the intention to harm and injure his reputation, and the matter is still on the court’s motion roll.

Kereke has also accused state security bosses of collaborating with Gono to steal state funds.

He has also accused Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of stealing government funds.

Amid a swirling political storm over allegations that he raped an 11-year-old girl and is pulling out all the stops to avert prosecution, he has got Daily News editors arrested, and even State security has been ominously sucked into the vortex of his flat lining economic fortunes.

A source with knowledge of Kereke’s waning fortunes says the tide has dramatically turned, and his workers at his farm and the hospital have gone for extended periods without adequate payment. He is frantically trying to find a home in politics, seeking a senatorial seat in his native Bikita on a Zanu PF ticket.

From being considered a “whale” or a wealthy customer in bank lingo who can tap rich credit lines, Kereke has now been classified as a high-risk client.

Skipping out on a bank debt is a crime in Zimbabwe, and BancABC, which has retained Sawyer and Mkushi law firm, has filed charges against Kereke in the High Court.

Kereke has entered an appearance to defend the action.

The nominal interest loan at five percent per annum has accrued more interest since he failed to repay it by June 2012, according to court records and lawyers on the case.

His wealth readily earned him more credit. Besides BancABC making him take responsibility for his overextended scheme, he is also facing litigation from Gono’s personal aide Chengeto Dube whom Kereke alleged was involved in dodgy deals with the RBZ boss.

State firm National Social Security Authority (Nssa) is also suing him for failing to remit pension funds deducted from his employees, while Zesa Holdings is suing him for power debts and he was recently locked in another financial dispute with fertiliser supplier Windmill — which he has reportedly settled. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor

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