Kamushinda accused of dirty tricks

12 October 2018 | Banking

The Supreme Court of Namibia on Tuesday reserved judgement in a matter in which Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe and World Eagle Investment are trying to overturn a High Court order to place the SME Bank in liquidation.

In his answering affidavit to the appeal, provisional liquidator Ian McLaren said the liquidators and creditors of the SME Bank would be severely prejudiced if the Supreme Court were to grant relief in favour of the two Zimbabwean entities.

He said since he and David Bruni were appointed as the provisional liquidators they have taken various steps to finalise the liquidation.

The steps taken include recognition by the South African Supreme Court to act as foreign liquidators in June. They were also granted permission by the same court to hold insolvency inquiries in South Africa.

They were also granted permission to establish a commission of inquiry in Namibia, which was held in secret and yielded valuable information about money that “mysteriously disappeared” from the SME Bank.

McLaren said they also succeeded in freezing two South African bank accounts in respect of N$40.5 million and N$12 million that had been invested in trust in South Africa.

Summonses on behalf of the liquidators have been issued for N$79 million and N$12 million respectively, of which McLaren said the prospects of success are good.

He said they were currently establishing an inquiry in Dubai, to which N$69 million was transferred. “We will recover the amount in Dubai,” McLaren said confidently.

He said should MetBank and World Eagle's appeal application be successful, all freezing orders would probably have to be undone and the money would have to be returned to those “who reaped the fruits of unlawful conduct”.

McLaren also accused a director of MetBank and World Eagle, Enoch Kamushinda, of having done everything in his power to stop the liquidators from recovering the money spirited out of Namibia.

He said it was strange that Kamushinda, a shareholder of the SME Bank, had lodged legal proceedings to set aside the South African court order to establish the insolvency inquiry. Kamushinda had also instituted proceedings in the Namibian High Court to set aside an order that gave the liquidators certain powers to continue with the liquidation. Kamushinda had succeeded in this matter and this judgement is subject to an application for a leave of appeal to the Namibian Supreme Court to be heard on 7 November.

Kamushinda also brought another High Court application to set aside the appointment of the liquidators, which McLaren said was brought when they received proof during the South African enquiry that N$64 million in cash had been delivered to an address in Johannesburg. “The thieves there actually signed for the cash and the money was delivered with reference to the SME Bank's money,” McLaren said. The delivery notes reference “SME 10.10” and the liquidators have prepared statements, which the liquidators said would be publicly released upon certain events, which include “veiled threats” made to them. Bruni said in his answering affidavit before the Gauteng High Court on 4 October that a certain Stickling in his affidavit to that court stated that about N$64 million in cash had been delivered to a certain George Markides. Stickling had indicated that one of his regular clients who received cash from his business was Kamushinda's company, Crown Finance Corporation. Bruni said during the time the cash was delivered, there were no fewer than 77 phone calls between Kamushinda and Markides.

Bruni also said although Kamushinda was not authorised to represent MetBank or World Eagle, he nonetheless took a number of steps to hamper the liquidators' duties. Kamushinda allegedly also attempted to protect Mauwane Kotane, director of Mamepe Capital, where about N$196 million of the SME Bank's money was allegedly invested.



CATHERINE SASMAN