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Chivayo comes out guns blazing against partners



CONTROVERSIAL local tycoon Wicknell Chivayo has come out guns blazing against his estranged business partners Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, describing them as “serial extortionists” trying to extract money from him by falsely claiming they are owed millions from the corrupt US$40 million Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) tender which has caused uproar.


In several letters flying back and forth between Chivayo on one side and his bitter business partners Chimombe and Mpofu on the other, the Intratrek Holdings boss says he will not be intimidated and succumb to pressure from fraudsters.

Chivayo says Chimombe and Mpofu are “serial extortionists who survive on manufacturing fake telephonic messages, fabricating videographic images, forging documents, and engineering voice recordings which they in turn use to blackmail unsuspecting businessmen”.

 In a letter to South Africa lawyer Dian Oosthuizen, who represents Chimombe and Mpofu, Chivayo says the demands for payment by his partners are “ridiculous” and “extortionist”.

“I refer to your previous email, the purpose of which I was copied is unknown but appears to be malicious or perhaps foolishly intended to intimidate me through extortionist and ridiculous claims being made by your clients,” he says.

“Your outrageous demands are entirely premised on non-existent, fallacious, unlawful and extortionate grounds. The character of your demand is also inherently ridiculous and can only be attributed to unbridled desperation by individuals who have become accustomed to employing deceitful manoeuvres in an attempt to fleece successful businessmen such as myself.”

Chivayo adds: “I must set out from the beginning my deepest exception and objection to the veiled attacks on my person and business standing which you allege to be tainted with criminality that involves money laundering, bribery, fraud and theft.

 “Such grave allegations, which are untrue, are made without reference to any factual basis and to the extent that render yourselves as a firm of lawyers complicit in an illegal scheme to extort me under the guise of a pretentious and superficial demand for payment.

 “I fully reserve my rights to approach the Law Society of South Africa or any other competent body to express my extreme displeasure in your firm’s grossly unethical conduct.”

The Intratrek boss points out Chimombe and Mpofu have no locus standing to represent Better Brands Security (Pvt) which signed the deal with Ren-Form of South Africa, not them. He says Mpofu attended some of the meetings to negotiate the deal as a “glorified bodyguard”.

“To the substance of your shallow and uninformed demand, I wish to place on record the following facts which fully demonstrate the fraud that your Clients have retained you to pursue;

“Both Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu have no locus standi to represent Better Brands as deceitfully purported in your demand. Both are neither shareholders nor directors of the company. They hold no brief as the company’s agents, legal representatives or any other lawful position to which they can competently claim payment on behalf of the company. They have no power of attorney to represent Better Brands in this matter or at all. It must also be noted that Moses Mpofu’s presence at one of the meetings with Ren-Form was in the capacity of a ‘glorified bodyguard’ who kept begging to take pictures of the other participants including myself, which pictures are now the basis of your client’s ludicrous and extortionist demands for payment,” Chivayo said.

“Your client’s pursuit of a ‘damages claim’ is therefore motivated by fraudulent intent and an insatiable greed to benefit from a transaction which they were never meant to benefit from in the first place.

“I have attached a letter from a firm of Zimbabwean lawyers who lawfully represented Better Brands confirming the above position.

“The author of the letter (Mr. Chatambudza) signed the agreement with Ren-Form on behalf of Better Brands and is the bona fide representative of that company.

 “It is unfathomable that your firm, in its wisdom or lack of it, never deemed it necessary to request your clients’ evidence upon which they claim to represent Better Brands.

“Such colossal failure to conduct the most basic due diligence demonstrates gross ineptitude on your part and/or purposeful collusion to pursue a criminal enterprise with the common intent to defraud both myself and Ren-Form.

“You are urged to advise your Clients properly and desist from acquiescing yourself to scandalous and criminal machinations which have no evidence to substantiate.

“Your clients have a known history of eking out a living on blackmail and intimidation. Assuming that I can easily give in to their criminal maneuvers is a figment of poor imagination. 

 “They are both failed businessmen and overzealous extortionists who solely rely on opportunistic delinquency as a means of survival. 

 “Their present demand is just but one of their many attempts to derive a fortune through ill-fated and fraudulent means. 

“To demonstrate this, nothing has been submitted to validate their entitlement to the sum being claimed apart from hearsay and empty rhetoric.”

Chivayo says there is no agreement between himself or Ren-Form on one hand and Mpofu or Chimombe on the other to justify payment of the monies being claimed as commission. He adds “nothing but just hollow and bald assertions” have been forwarded to show Chimombe and Mpofu have a legitimate claim.

 “Given the substantial amounts referred to in your demand, could it have been practically possible that your clients would agree to not having any agreement reduced to writing in which their specific entitlements/payments would be clearly spelt out? It is inconceivable,” Chivayo says.

 “For your clients to insist on such a dull-witted claim and even more so for it to enjoy your legal audience induces a sense of shock, alarm and despondency. Such exploitative and reprehensible conduct by your clients must be called to order.”

For the avoidance of any doubt, Chivayo adds: “I categorically deny the assumed business relationship with your clients or any dealings, in terms of which part of the ‘payment’ was to be payable in commission as alleged and demanded.”

Chivayo categorically rejects the claim that he is refusing to pay his partners.

 “The contents of your appalling demand are therefore refuted in their entirety. I was not a party to the contract between the Government of Zimbabwe and Ren-Form. I am therefore constrained to understand the extent to which any claims for payment arise against me or to Ren-Form given that your clients were equally not a party to the agreement. There being nothing owed to your clients by Ren-Form, there is no debt that arises as contemplated in Section 345 of the Companies Act.”

Chivayo charges: “The entirety of your client’s speculative claims is therefore dismissible as hogwash of the highest order.”

“I urge you to candidly and correctly advise your clients to desist from pursuing such a hapless claim and focus more on seeking modest business ventures that are premised on honest, hard work,” he says.

“No amount of intimidation, coercion or duress will ever result in the unlawful making of payments that are not due or payable to your clients.”

Chivayo says “I am fully prepared for any litigation or other consequence arising from your shameful and offensive demand”. He observes: “I hope that my position is clear and shall allow for reason and sense to prevail upon both yourselves and your clients. I also ask that you forthwith desist from sending or copying me in such thoughtless, baseless and nonsensical emails in future.”

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