Care hire rental company Impala Car Rental is reportedly teetering on the brink of collapse due to boardroom squabbles.
According to The NewsHawks, the company’s problems emanate from several fronts, among them the Tawanda Muchehiwa abduction scandal by state security agents with its connivance, subsequent desertion by spooked clients, and the death of its chief executive Thompson Dondo in January.
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Reports suggest that following the abduction of Muchehiwa by state security before the 31 July protests last year, Impala was hit by contracts cancellations when its role in the seizure and horrific torture of the student journalist was exposed.
Muchehiwa, a Midlands State University (MSU) student and nephew to ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu, has since fled to South Africa, fearing for his life.
Impala’s problems were worsened by reports of its entanglement with the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) through dodgy ownership deals cut by the late Madondo. Impala is the CIO’s favourite car hire company.
There has been a mass exodus of senior employees in recent weeks resulting in the formation of a splinter company known as Legacy Car Rental which has offices located at 6 Devine Road, Milton Park, Harare, The NewsHawks reported sources as saying.
After Dondo’s death, his wife Matirasa Francisca, who is a director, ordered an audit to establish the financial state of the company as she was taking from where her husband had left and suspected misappropriation of funds.
According to the company’s CR14 documents, Matirasa and the late Dondo’s sister Clara are listed as directors. Said a source:
When Matirasa took over, she ordered a forensic audit to ascertain the financial state of the company.
She also suspected that her co-director Clara and some senior members of management were siphoning funds.
This did not go down well with some of Dondo’s relatives and the subsequent squabble resulted in the quitting by at least six employees and others.
Clara led the defectors to form their own splinter company, Legacy Car Rental, and they have taken away with them their skills, experience and clients.
Legacy is led by Clara and her brother Darlington Dondo, Thompson’s siblings. Added the source:
Darlington is Clara and Thompson’s brother. They were angered by their in-law’s boardroom coup and the audit that she ordered.
Thompson’s siblings also did not like the fact that they were being accused of misappropriating funds.
So they mobilised other disgruntled employees, including a driver called Chivizhe, to quit and then started Legacy.
This has left Impala in deeper operational and financial trouble. Its Zambia branch has already closed shop, while the South African operation was already struggling.