Former Botswana president Festus Mogae is reported to be involved in a battle for control of Choppies Zimbabwe with former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko. Mogae alleges that Mphoko was used to bypass provisions of the Indigenisation Act which required locals to own 51 percent of businesses and that Mphoko was given only 7 percent of the shares for this role and not the 51 percent which he is now claiming. A letter written by Mogae to Mphoko which is quoted by the Zimbabwe Independent reads,
My brother, I would like to bring the following facts to your attention: We entered into this partnership with a clear understanding of the shareholding of 93% shares to Choppies Enterprises and 7% to the Mphoko family, free of charge. We signed agreements based on this and even the office of the former president (Robert Mugabe) has got these agreements.
You are well aware that I had access to former president, RG Mugabe and I did clear this with him in the presence of former foreign minister (honourable) Simbarashe S Mumbengegwi. I have the same access to the current president as I had with the previous one.
Speaking to the Zimbabwe Independent, Mogae said,
That letter was written when we realised there was something impossible that had been happening for some time and we needed to regularise that, which is the issue of Choppies’ shareholding in Zimbabwe. We would love to continue operating in Zimbabwe, but we need to have things in order in the correct manner.
However, Mphoko dismissed Mogae’s claims saying that people wanted to advantage of the fact that he was no longer a part of the government. He insisted that he still owns 51 percent of the supermarket chain and said that he has the documentation to back him.
More: The Zimbabwe Independent