#Mondayblues can exclusively reveal that the marriage between the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) and the ministry of ICT’s Zarnet, has soured to new heights as the parties tussle over controlling stake in Telecel Zimbabwe.
NSSA has been pushing a new agreement that it takes over control and becomes the official correspondent over the deal setting the 30th of September as the deadline to conclude the deal, which either way it get back it $6million advanced to Vimplecom as the remaining $24 million remains stuck due to non funding of nostro accounts in Zimbabwe.
Emerging information leads that NSSA has managed to make a new way to go round the stinging nostro issue, which will see The Russians getting paid through a swap arrangement where the dollars will be paid to the Platinum investors in Zimbabwe and they will be reimbursed back in Moscow.
In a letter addressed to Zarnet ahead of crucial meetings between the two companies recently, Nssa said it wanted to resolve issues to deal with the call-back contact person and proposed change to deed of amendments, among many other things.
“Call-back contact adjustment — confirmation that, as per Nssa’s letter of July 13 2016 to yourselves, Zarnet had indeed written to Barclays Bank Plc and Global Telecom Netherlands advising them that Dr (Henry) Chikova (Nssa chief social security officer and acting general manager) is the sole call-back contact of the funds in terms of the escrow agreement,” Nssa wrote.
“Deed of amendment — confirmation that Zarnet has signed the deed of amendment to the SPA with VimpleCom in order to protect the extension of the Long Stop Date to 30 September 2016. Proposed change to the said deed of amendment — to include a clause stating explicitly that in the event of a transaction falling through, the US$6m is returned to an account nominated by Nssa.”
According to initial agreements between the parties, Zarnet acquired 100 percent shareholding of Telecel International Limited from international telecoms giant VimpelCom valued at $40 million and financed by NSSA.
TIL owned 60 percent of Telecel Zimbabwe and Zarnet’s acquisition means that Internet Seervice Provider took over the shareholding in the local mobile company.
A local consortium, Empowerment Corporation owns the remaining 40 percent.
However, NSSA is arguing that it is entitled to the shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe because it financed the acquisition.
when the deal was initially published, The Nssa chairman Mr Robin Vela said he had already denied taking a position of a money lender to Zarnet, when the Zarnet deal was proposed.
I can disclose that NSSA’s investment team and management has formally declined to participate in the transaction based on the assertion that NSSA was just funder providing an unsecured loan. This is fundamentally against what NSSA’s mandate is given NSSA is the custodian of Pensioners’ funds on which securing the capital and gaining a return on the same is a critical requirement. NSSA does not lend funds directly to any company. It lends to banks under strict and limited conditions. The Telecel transaction would not qualify as such.”
Nssa wants that the US$6m which has been paid must be repaid into their account if the deal fails, so they are demanding a clause stating that condition to be inserted in the agreement of sale. Generally, they want Zarnet to have nothing to do with the deal despite the fact that Nssa was approached only as a financier.
After firing the last NSSA board on corruption, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira also weighed in support of the chairman saying NSSA had assisted Zarnet in the acquisition of a stake in Telecel international by paying the final installment of $30 million.
<“This is not a loan to Zarnet as NSSA has for the intervening period, assumed the rights and obligations of Zarnet,” she said Government has called the National Social Security Authority to order directing the authority to focus on financing the acquisition of Telecel Zimbabwe through Zarnet, instead of attempting to usurp the deal from the state-owned technology concern. Government also expressed concern at the combative tone of the authority following a plethora of letters written by the authority’s lawyers, which threatened to derail the deal.Through the Attorney General’s office, Government made it clear that it was not happy with efforts to sneak in new issues in earlier agreements, which has the effect of renegotiating the agreements entered into for the acquisition of the mobile company by Zarnet. The AG’s office told NSSA through its lawyers Mawere-Sibanda that Government was not happy with the confrontational attitude exhibited by the authority and its lawyers. “It is in light of this that we are unhappy with the confrontational and combative tone of your letters to us. We do not appreciate it and hope that you will not persist with the same,” the AG’s office said.