Mphoko sues Welshman Ncube over Choppies payout


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Zimbabwe’s former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko has dragged his lawyer, Movement for Democratic Change Alliance deputy president Welshman Ncube, to court.

Mphoko is suing Ncube for allegedly “neglecting” to transfer more than US$1.4m (R20.7m), part of an amount awarded to Mphoko and his son Siqokoqela after a protracted ownership battle for retailer Choppies Enterprises Ltd.

He and his son sold their shares in the supermarket giant’s Zimbabwean entity, allegedly for US$2.9m (R43m), in a deal finalised in January this year.

The dispute arose when the Mphokos and Choppies – which operates 212 stores in SA, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe – fell out over the size of their holding in Nanavac Investments, a Choppies subsidiary in Zimbabwe.

The Mphokos claimed they were 51% shareholders, but Choppies said they had only a 7% stake. The matter was taken to the Zimbabwean high court but was resolved out of court.

In their suit, the Mphokos argue that since the deal’s conclusion, the former Vice-President has received US$517 500 (R7.7m), while his son got US$730 219 (R10.8m) – leaving a balance of about US$1.4m, which they claim is being held by their estranged lawyer Ncube.

“Despite demand, the defendant [Ncube] has failed, neglected and/or refused to pay the aforesaid balances of US$832 500 [R12.3m] to the first plaintiff [Phelekezela Mphoko] and US$619 708.50 [R9.2m] for the second plaintiff [Siqokoqela Mphoko],” reads the summons.

Ncube is yet to respond to the summons, which also demands that he pays “5% [interest] per annum from January 16, 2019 to the date of payment in full.”- TimesLive

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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