Emerging reports suggest that former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and his son Siqokoqela misled the government into believing that their family owned 51% shares at Choppies a company headquartered in Botswana. It has emerged that the family was given only 7% shares for facilitating the company’s entry into Zimbabwe. The law demanded that 51% of the total shares of foreign companies be owned by locals.
Mphoko’s actions robbed the country transactions of about US$500 000 and upwards as per the indigenisation laws.
Choppies’ suspended chief executive Ramachandran Ottapathu was quoted saying that Mphoko and his son had not invested a cent in the operation. He said:
As a matter of fact, Choppies operations in Zimbabwe are owned, in the main, by Choppies Enterprises Limited, a company registered in Botswana. The reference of the 51% being owned by the Mphokos was done so as to comply with legislation which was put in place by the government which precluded foreigners from owning big stakes in businesses in preference to locals.