Kamushinda fights on

16 September 2019 | Banking

Enoch Kamushinda, described as the mastermind behind the heist at the SME Bank, is continuing his dogged battle to stop the bank's “closure”.

In his latest court challenge, he is asking that the High Court declare the “closure” of the bank in violation of articles 16 and 18 of the Namibian constitution as null and void.

Consequent to that, he asks that the court declare all actions so far taken by Bank of Namibia (BoN) in respect of the SME Bank as null and void.

This includes the removal of the then board of directors of the SME Bank and the appointment of liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren.

Moreover, Kamushinda asks that the BoN accounts and refunds the shareholders of the SME Bank all monies so far spent in pursuit of and in aid of the winding up of the bank, including the costs of liquidation.

Article 16 of the Namibian constitution relates to the right to property. Article 18 relates to administrative justice.

The liquidators in their answering affidavit say Kamushinda's application is “vague, embarrassing and incomprehensible” since the SME Bank was never closed, but was liquidated by order of the Supreme Court.

The bank continued to conduct business until 11 July 2017 when it was provisionally liquidated.

The liquidators say Kamushinda's and his entities' - WorldEagle and Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe (MetBank) - earlier attempts to stop the winding-up of the bank have failed, and that it is now impossible to “drag a horse long dead out of the ditch”.

MetBank and Worldeagle respectively only contributed N$49.5 million (for a 30%)and N$8.3 million (for 5%) shares towards their shares in the SME Bank.

The liquidators pointed out that Kamushinda, CEO Tawanda Mumvuma, former finance manager Joseph Banda, and others by 6 March 2017 had already “stolen” not less than N$247 million from the SME Bank.

Bruni and McLaren said Kamushinda in his application does not identity any “lost property”, saying that he does not hold any interest in the SME Bank, “other than using it as his cash-cow”.

Moreover, say Bruni and McLaren, Kamushinda and his “co-wrongdoers were the sole cause of the collapse of the SME Bank”.

They say the winding-up of the bank does mean that MetBank and WorldEagle lose their interest in the bank.

The liquidators say they have already recovered N$60 million in South Africa through litigation and insolvency enquiries, and that the process is continuing, adding that it is “absolutely vital and necessary” that Kamushinda and his cohorts be brought to book.

On 15 June this year the liquidators have serviced an application to summon Kamushinda and his cohorts in Zimbabwe. This summons was opposed and an exemption was raised.

Shareholding and compulsory contributions

BoN approved MetBank as a 30% shareholder in the SME Bank on 3 September 2012, and again on 15 July 2015. MetBank remains liable for its shareholder contribution, as well as the shortfall on the date of liquidation of the SME Bank, the liquidators stated.

The Namibian government, through the Namibia Financing Trust, holds 65% of the shares.

The liquidators say Kamushinda, MetBank and Worldeagle did not pay their compulsory contributions. The outstanding contributions since 1 March 2015 for MetBank are N$121.5 million and N$20.2 million for Worldeagle.