Tuesday, 16 July 2019

FIGHT FOR ZVINAVASHE ESTATE GETS MESSY


FIVE beneficiaries of the estate of the late national hero, Vitalis Musungwa Gava Zvinavashe’s Trust have petitioned the High Court seeking an order to remove the current Trustees accusing them of failing to distribute dividends to the recipients and also failing to provide accounting details of how the Trust has been administered since January 2017.

The beneficiaries, Thompson, Tapera, Maxwell, Augustine and Desmond Zvinavashe are seeking the removal of Margaret Mutamba and Richard Musungwa Zvinavashe, Shingai Mutumba and Clemency Ruzengwe from administering the Zvinavashe Trust.

In his founding affidavit, Thompson said in the event that the order sought is granted by the court, he together with his co-beneficiaries of the Trust should be ordered to appoint an interim board of trustees comprising of two professional trustees and three other trustees from the members of the family.

“The application and order sought is based on the following; non-payment of dividends to the beneficiaries in contravention of clause 16 of the Trust Deed. Current beneficiaries have the right to distributions as set forth in the trust document. It is respectively averred that since January 2017, applicants were not favoured with their share of Trust dividends,” he said. 

“That failure, in my view, directly offends the spirit of the Trust Deed particularly clause 6,3 of the Trust Deed which is sacrosanct. Respondents are not giving information to the beneficiaries pertaining to all Trust property held in the Trust Deed as communicated in clause 5 of the Trust Deed.”

Thompson also said, alternatively, if their order is not granted in terms of how they have suggested, the court should appoint an interim board of trustees it deems fit and proper in terms of clause 4 of the Trust Deed. 

Thompson further said the court should also order Mutumba and Ruzengwe to deliver all professional reports of the Trust and all records pertaining to their duties as trustees and all documents in their possession or control to the interim board appointed by the five beneficiaries, who are applicants in the matter, or by the court.

“Respondents are not keeping proper set of accounts in respect of their transaction and no auditing has been done with regards to the financial dealings of the Trust. That conduct is contrary to clause 9 of the Trust Deed,” he said.

“Furthermore, respondents are not making information available to the applicants pertaining to the Trust. Applicants, being beneficiaries are entitled to accounting records. An accounting is a detailed report of all income, expenses and distributions from the Trust. Respondents are required to provide an accounting annually, and this has not been done and if it were done, the applicants were never made aware of the same.”

Just last month, High Court judge Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba lamented the absence of an alternative dispute resolution in the same estate where Margaret
and Richard have been at each other’s throat ever since Zvinavashe was interred at the National Heroes Acre.

Justice Chirawu-Mugomba presided over an application in which Margaret approached the court seeking a court order to bar Richard from entering stand number 730
Cowie Road, Tynwald in Harare because he has been disturbing her peace. 

According to court papers, Margaret and Richard have been embroiled in bitter fights over Zvinavashe’s estate and at some point the said fights landed Richard
in the dock after he allegedly chased Margaret out of the premises despite her having been granted lifetime usufruct over the Tynwald property by the late army
general.

The current application is pending. Newsday



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