Thursday, 10 December 2020

HIGH COURT BLOCKS NZENZA'S CAPS BOARD APPOINTMENTS

THE High Court has suspended the appointment of five CAPS Private Limited (CAPS) board members by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce after the firm’s majority shareholder objected.

Caps Pharmaceutical Trust (CPT), who are the major shareholders in the drug manufacturing company, approached the court on November 10 after they were made aware of the appointments through social media and local newspaper notices.

Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza last month appointed pharmaceutical quality assurance specialist Ian Matondo as the CAPS’ board chairperson, while the other members were Tapiwa Mashingaidze, Sinikiwe Gwatidzo, Arthur Manase and Bothwell Nyajeka.

The CPT cited Zenza, the ministry’s permanent secretary Mavis Sibanda, CAPS Holdings and CAPS Private Limited as well as the new board as respondents.

High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu agreed with the terms of the application, saying that CPT had a right as the majority shareholders to be involved in the process. “It is also not in dispute that the applicant, on paper, appears to be majority shareholders in third respondent hence on paper have a right to have been involved in the appointment of the fifth to the ninth respondents as board members for the third respondent,” Tagu said.

He went on further to grant a provisional order to CPT, saying the new board would not be involved in the running of the company nor would the Industry and Commerce ministry take part in any activity involving the appointment of workers at the company.

“Pending confirmation or discharge of this provisional order, the applicant is granted the following interim relief: The fifth to ninth respondents be and hereby interdicted from performing duties as directors of the 3rd respondent pending the court’s determination on the return day on whether or not the interdict should be extended until the arbitral tribunal makes a final determination on the dispute.

“The first respondent be and is hereby interdicted from interfering with the affairs of the 3rd respondent and appointment of any persons as directors, employees or consultants to the 3rd respondent until the return day,” Tagu adjudged.

According to records, CPT was notified of an annual general meeting which was to be held on October 30, with one of the agenda items to be discussed being the appointment of directors for CAPS Limited. Sibanda wrote a letter to CAPS Limited on October 22nd asking for a postponement of the meeting, which went on to be cancelled, because there were some legal and factual issues that needed to be resolved.

The ministry then went on to appoint the new board members for the firm which would have been discussed at the AGM. CPT challenged the appointment, citing that it would negatively affect them as the major shareholders as their right to appoint directors as well as the chairperson of the board for CAPS Limited had been completely disregarded.

The permanent secretary as well as the ministry contested the urgent application, saying that the issue was not an urgent matter. Daily News

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