A shareholding dispute has turned nasty after businessman and Feedmix co-director Yitbarek Tekie has alleged that he is living in fear because his partners have hired a hitman to kill him.
Feedmix co-director Tekie who owns 50 per cent in the stock feed company claims his partner Alexander Kirkman and ex-member John Tayler are after his life.
The allegations of attempted murder comes after Tekie implemented a fraud detection and prevention program.
The program reportedly exposed Kirkman for personalising construction materials, imported steel for private contracts using Feedmix’s Reserve Bank foreign currency allocation.
Kirkman and his wife Lynda Harrison resisted a move by Tekie to engage external auditors.
Further allegations are that Harrison crafted a strategy to contest Tekie’s shares by inviting Tayler who was the seller of the shares back, to cancel the sale.
“This was on a promise that she would help Tayler to regain his shares through extensive litigation that they thought would wear me down.
“Kirkman, Tayler and Harrison have been frustrating and deliberately delaying every process for the transfer of shares,” said Tekie.
Tekie said that he is now living in fear after trying to fight for what is rightfully his.
“I have been frustrated and I am living in fear for my life and that of my family after trying to fight for what’s rightfully mine.”
During the first half of 2020, Harrison reportedly worked as an accountant at Feedmix. Whilst she worked there, she allegedly used Kirkman’s email to communicate with all staff to cover up the audit programs he had introduced.
A fraudulent Feedmix board that did not include Tekie was then introduced in contravention of their memorandum and articles of association as well as the shareholder’s agreement.
Tekie was barred from entering into his office after the board met after being chaired by John Tayler with the aim of removing him.
Tekie then filed a High Court application for an interdict and spoliation which was granted in his favour by Justice Webster Chinamora.
However, Kirkman and crew appealed against the ruling and a decision is pending at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, sometime this year, Tekie accused Kirkman and Tayler of defrauding the company of US$1,5 million and the duo appeared at the Harare magistrate court charged with fraud and were released on $50 000 each.
Kirkman and Tayler were later removed from remand with the defence claiming there was no further evidence tendered to the court by Tekie who was also being barred from accessing the same at the Feedmix offices.
Two days after they were released from remand, Tekkie alleges that Kirkman and Tayler were spotted at a local hotel in Harare where they had a secret meeting with the investigating officer handling the same case.
NewZimbabwe reports that it has seen a letter of complaint against the officer and his superiors mentioned that he would go through a disciplinary hearing. The investigating officer has since been relieved from the case.
Negotiations to remove Tayler from the business was postponed at the request of his lawyers.