High Court judge, Siyabona Paul Masithu Thursday removed from the court roll, an application by late businessman Eddies Pfugari’s daughter, Henrietta in which she was seeking an order declaring her a 50% shareholder in her late father’s flagship company, E. Pfugari Properties (Private Limited).
Henrietta is one of the late property mogul’s five children who are embroiled in a vicious wrangle over his US$30 million estate.
Pfugari, born Edward Nyanyiwa, was one of the pioneers of Zimbabwe’s black economic empowerment crusade.
He died on February 10 last year at his Milton Park home in Harare, leaving behind a massive business empire and a number of assets.
Just a year after the famous tycoon died aged 82, a battle over his estate has erupted, pitting sibling against sibling and sullying the businessman’s name.
Henrietta filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court on August 14 challenging the sole directorship of Pfugari’s eldest son, Edward Nyanyiwa Junior in the company and seeking to be installed as a co-director.
Edward Jnr was Pfugari’s first born with his first wife, a South African he married after migrating to the neighbouring country in 1952 before coming back to Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, in 1962.
In her application, Mildred, along with her late mother’s appointed estate executor, accused Edward Jnr of having defrauded her, arguing she held 50% stake in the company.
The executor, Stern Mafara, was a co-applicant in the matter.
Justice Masithu however said the hearing could not proceed as Henrietta’s application was based on an erroneous assumption that her mother, Mildred, held an equal shareholding with Pfugari.
Pfugari Properties (Private) Limited and Edward Junior were the first and second respondents respectively.
Edward Jnr opposed the application saying Mildred was never a shareholder in the company and that the share certificates indicated that only him and his father were the co-shareholders.
According to Pfugari’s will, which was also produced in court, Edward Junior would inherit his shareholding upon his death.
Ruled Justice Masithu, “First applicant’s claim to directorship in first respondent was based on the erroneous supposition that the late Mildred held a 50% shareholding in first respondent.
“In any case, it was disputed that first applicant was ever appointed director of first respondent.
“The alleged appointment was irregular as nothing was placed before the court to show that it was made at a general meeting of members. First applicant’s name never appeared on the company’s documentation.
“The particulars of directors of first respondent show the directors of first respondent as the late Edward and Edward junior as at 5 July 2010. The application therefore failed to meet the threshold for urgency.”
The judge also accused Mafara and Henrietta of trying to mislead the court into believing that Mildred was a shareholder without any supporting documentation.
“Even more bizarre was the failure to disclose first applicant’s summons claim for a declaratur which in my makes the present application inessential.
“The non-disclosures had the effect creating material disputes of fact once first and second respondent filed their opposition revealing the genesis of the dispute between the parties.
“This court would have been misled had it not invited the parties to appear and argue their cases. I find the preliminary objection meritorious.
“Having found in favour of first and second respondents in respect of these key preliminary objections which in my view go to the root of the application, I find it needless to traverse the merits of the application and the remaining preliminary objections. The application must fall on this premise,” Justice Masitu ruled.
Mafara and Henrietta will also meet the cost of the lawsuit on the ordinary scale.