Shareholder squabbles continued unabated at suspended Zimbabwe Stock Exchange entity CFI Holdings after proxies representing one of the major shareholders, Stalap Investments, walked out of a meeting amid accusations that acting board chairperson, Itai Valerie Pasi, was flouting principles of good corporate governance.
At the annual general meeting, shareholders questioned the decision by the Ms Pasi, to allow shareholders to vote on financial statements that were not signed by both the company’s auditors as well as the directors of the company.
Ms Pasi admitted that the company had mistakenly sent an annual report that was not signed, by both auditors and directors as per requirements but still wanted shareholders to vote on the statements giving her assurance that there were only minor changes between the audited ones and the ones sent out to shareholders.
Stalap Investments, represented by lawyer Addington Chinake and Zimre Holdings CE Stanely Kudenga were, however, having none of it arguing that it was against good corporate governance to ask shareholders to consider amendments and “minor changes to the annual report” in less than ten minutes.
Mr Kudenga aired his disappointment on the way the board led by Ms Pasi was failing to practise good corporate governance, which is the very reason it had come into being.
The board led by Ms Pasi was appointed following accusations that the previous board led by Grace Muradzikwa was not following good corporate government principles. The accusations led to the resignation of some of the board members including former acting Chairperson, Mrs Muradzikwa and acting chief executive Timothy Nyika.
“I must say I am very disappointed with what I am witnessing today. This board came into being following accusations that the previous board was flouting principles of corporate governance. I came here to support the new team, but I am disappointed that the new board is also failing to meet basic corporate governance requirements,” said Kudenga.
Ms Pasi insisted that there was nothing amiss with the financial statements and shareholders were just supposed to vote on the matter.
She, however, agreed to shareholders’ call to have the matter put to vote on whether the meeting should go on or be postponed until shareholders were given enough time to look at the financial statements.
The meeting, however, voted against postponing the AGM and allowed voting to proceed. A total 53 percent voted against postponing while 47 percent voted for the meeting to continue.
Mr Chinake, however, wanted the auditors Deloitte, to explain whether the accounts sent to shareholders were exactly what they had audited to which the auditors said “no” as there were minor changes “to the notes”, prompting the walk-out by Mr Chinake, Mr Kudenga and other shareholders.