DPC says not giving up on Tetrad, to engage potential investors

DPC says not giving up on Tetrad, to engage potential investors

By Chipo Musoko, HARARE, July 16 (The Source) – The Deposit Protection Corporation says it will engage shareholders of Tetrad Investment Bank (TIB) to identify a new investor and save it from total collapse.

This follows the resignation of the bank’s judicial manager, Winsley Militala recently and the subsequent appointment of DBO Kudenga by the DPC, which took over the bank’s administration.

The central bank last November suspended the bank from undertaking banking activities and extended its Scheme of Arrangement with creditors to January this year amid indications there was a $200 million capital injection was being readied by Horizon Capital Consortium (HCC), reportedly made up of a Russian investor Sergey Pokusaev, the Zimbabwe government and other local investors.

“The bank has not moved out of judicial management, we have taken it as judicial manager and we are still pursuing the issue of bringing back the bank to life,” DPC chief executive, John Chikura told The Source recently.

“And we hope that the shareholders and the executives will cooperate with us to help us identify the investors they were talking to, so we can engage them too with a view to see whether they can come to the table.”

He said currently, DPC was involved in the handover, take over process.

The return date to the High Court is  August 6 and Chikura hopes to have made progress by then.

“We will be reporting to the Master (of the High Court) what we will have done and what recommendations we will have. We are not talking of liquidation,” he said.

In the past, despite several meetings and extensions, the bank’s shareholders failed to present Pokusaev as requested by creditors, some of whom had expressed doubts over the Horizon rescue package.

A local representative of Horizon, Munyaradzi Kereke, attended a heated meeting in April where shareholders, led by chairman Harry Orphanides and acting managing director Eugene Mlambo pushed for the ejection of Militala for recommending that the bank be liquidated.

During the meeting, Orphanides and Mlambo called for his removal but were told that only the High Court had such powers. Militala had earlier suspended Mlambo along with the finance executive, Ethel Chitanda to facilitate investigations into some transactions at the bank.

Shareholders, represented by Miccah Moyo, chairman of Tetrad Holdings (Private) Limited in April applied for the removal of Militala from his position, challenging his reports which they said were inaccurate. They accused him of refusing to meet with the potential investor as well as demanding huge fees worth $144,000 for the work he had done since taking over last year.

However, in his notice of opposition Militala challenged the application, which he said was improperly filed as Tetrad Holdings (Private) Limited was non-existent.

He also said the deponent, Moyo, had no board resolutions from the holding company and Plus Financial, which owns TIB, authorizing him to make the application.

However, Militala recently resigned under unclear circumstances.

TIB assets are worth $42,7 million and liabilities $70 million and at the last meeting creditors were told that they were likely to get 10 cents for a dollar should the bank be liquidated.

Most of them were banking on a new investor injecting fresh capital hoping to recover all the money they are owed.

Recently a group of the depositors owed over $8 million, informally met to chat the way forward, claiming that their interests were not being given the attention they deserved and formed a trust.

According to a statement published in the press recently, the trust, which has distanced itself from shareholders, directors and management of the bank, said it would seek to recover “the maximum value of their investment in the shortest possible time following due process” and to secure the immediate appointment of a forensic audit on the affairs of TIB, its allied companies and officials.