Sparks fly over Capital liquidation

HARARE - Capital Bank Limited (Capital)’s liquidation proceedings are due to be heard in the High Court today amid spirited efforts by the closed institution’s forerunner to stop the process.

This also comes as ReNaissance Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has sought to bar prominent lawyer Addington Chinake from representing the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) and about three ex-group directors on the basis that he was conflicted.

And having won a recent chamber ruling by Justice Joseph Mafusire, which forms part of a whopping $526 million damages claim on how the former ReNaissance Bank was sold to Nssa, Patterson Timba’s camp is going all out to oppose Capital’s final wind-down.

“The applicant (RFHL) contends that (Mr) Chinake and Mssrs Kantor… are violating some of the most basic rules of conduct binding legal practitioners,” read the application, which also accuses the law firm, Nssa and three former directors of “dereliction (of duty) during the consummation of the purported ReNaissance Bank share subscription agreement and composite waiver” of 2011.

“(Mr) Chinake has exchanged highly privileged information through… Christopher Chetsanga, Bartholomew Mswaka and Monica Mukonoweshuro. Such information also relates to, for example, the opinion that he gave to these former RFHL directors,” Clementine Sibve, a ReNaissance director said in an affidavit.

However, KI and the ex-RFHL trio have not only sought to defend themselves against the Mafusire judgment, but also insist that Chinake’s actions were above board and as the law firm has always represented Capital’s forerunner for 15 years-plus.

“The agreements were lawfully entered into. They do not give rise to any conflict… nor do they support a damages claim. There was no question of Kantor… acting against Nssa..,” Mswaka said in an opposing application.

“There are no top secrets established on the papers nor has any breach or violation been established,” he said in dispelling claims of Chinake’s alleged unprofessionalism and instead accused Sibve of malice.

While it has emerged that Mafusire was a senior partner at Scanlen and Holderness when one of his colleagues Sternford Moyo gave a strong recommendation for the ReNaissance acquisition by Nssa in 2011, KI has also challenged the High Court registrar to establish why the respondents were not given an opportunity to argue the matter in an open court in a December 1 letter.

In the meantime, Chinake has also written to the Law Society of Zimbabwe to advise it of the development and his intention to appeal or challenge the recent ruling in the Supreme Court.

With the main case still pending in the courts, RFHL’s multiplicity of respondents say the claim has prescribed.

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