Martin Kadzere and Tawanda Musarurwa
A SHOWDOWN is looming between suspended Hwange Colliery Company Ltd managing director Thomas Makore and the board after he denied claims he had resigned.
It has emerged Eng Makore only agreed to resign subject to the fulfilment of the conditions for his resignation, his lawyer Selby Hwacha of DMH Commercial Law Chambers said. Makore was suspended by the HCCL board on May 14, pending a disciplinary hearing. Mr Makore was facing “charges of undermining the authority of the board and unethical business conduct”.
However, the board announced in a statement yesterday that Mr Makore had resigned as the MD of the company he joined in 2014.
“The board of Hwange Colliery Company Limited wishes to advise all stakeholders and the public in general of the resignation of Mr Stenjwa Thomas Makore as the managing director of the company with effect from May 23, 2018,” HCCL said.
According to Mr Hwacha, Mr Makore agreed to resign on condition that the “defamatory” charges against him would be withdrawn while the board issued a public apology.
“We will definitely challenge the announcement,” Mr Hwacha said in an interview yesterday.
“Makore agreed to resign in a letter written to the board on May 23 (2018), which outlined some conditions precedent including withdrawal of defamatory charges by the board, a settlement package to compensate for the loss of his employment while he also demanded the board to issue a public apology.
“We are surprised that even without communication on how those conditions would be fulfilled, the board has put a public notice that Mr Makore has resigned. It is quite clear that their charges have collapsed and are merely avoiding a hearing, which I strongly believe was going to exonerate him. There is nothing like that (resignation.)”
Mr Hwacha said the board chose to take the “I have agreed part” and ignore the conditions.
Efforts to get a comment on the latest development from Hwange Acting chairperson Juliana Muskwe proved fruitless yesterday.
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange chief executive Mr Martin Matanda said while the ZSE had received and published the notice of management changes, it had asked for more information from the company to have an appreciation of the underlying issues.
“We are expecting that in the next few days,” said Mr Matanda in an interview yesterday.
Last week, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando hinted that he would make new appointment to entities under his ministry, HCCL included. Apart from being listed on the ZSE, the company’s shares are also traded on London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Government owns about 42,3 percent equity in HCCL.