Tanzania: More Complications Haunt Disputed Sale of 34,479 Tigo Shares

Tanzania: More Complications Haunt Disputed Sale of 34,479 Tigo Shares

Disputed sale of MIC Tanzania Limited’s 34,479 shares hangs in balance as Quality Group Limited and Golden Globe International Services oppose the revision proceedings pending before the Court of Appeal.

The two companies have filed an application for review of the court’s decision, dismissing the first attempt relating to grounds of objections raised against the hearing of the proceedings on a complaint by Millicom (Tanzania) NV that claims to legally own the shares, worth over 13bn/-.

Hearing of revision proceedings on the controversial share sale was scheduled for last Friday before Justices Mbarouk Mbarouk, Augustine Mwarija and Shaban Lila, but the session was adjourned, pending determination of the new application for review of the court’s ruling.

Before adjournment, advocate Richard Rweyongeza, on behalf of other advocates representing the two companies, told the panel that determination of application for review may have consequential effects on revision proceedings.

However, Advocate Fayaz Bhojani, one of counsel bench for Millicom (Tanzania) NV, strongly objected the request for adjournment, submitting that the move by the two companies was taken in abuse of court process.

He told the panel that the matter was a suo mottu (own motion) revision and was so called because of critical urgency in compliance of law requiring MIC Tanzania, trading as Tigo, to go public through offloading shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

Tanzania Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), he claimed, has already set the deadline for Tigo to comply with the law, threatening to de-license upon any violation.

He informed the court that his client was so desperate as he was majority shareholder in Tigo.

In their order, however, the justices of the appeals court noted that though the question of urgency was pertinent in the matter, they were of the view that determination of the new application for review first was of crucial importance.

On February 27, this year, the justices dismissed all the grounds of objections the two companies had raised for lack of legal merits. The two companies had alleged, among others, that the revision proceedings were incompetent since Millicom (Tanzania) NV had alternative remedies. Among the remedies, the lawyers submitted, included filing a separate suit.

They had contended further that the proceedings were incompetent for non-joinder of the parties and that the same were bad in law for containing incomplete records.

There have been ranges of claims regarding the transfer of Tigo shares, with Millicom (Tanzania) NV, a limited liability company registered under the laws of Curacao, claiming to control majority shares of MIC Tanzania Limited, which is registered in Tanzania.

The source of the dispute can be traced way back in 2002 when a Briton, Mr James Bell, filed a Civil Case No. 306/2002 against MIC UFA Ltd, Millicom International Cellular SA and MIC Tanzania Limited.

In the case, Millicom NV was not a party. Mr Bell, the plaintiff in the proceedings, managed to get a default judgment against MIC UFA Limited and Millicom International Cellular SA only in March 2005.

The Plaintiff attempted to execute the judgment against shares in Tigo, but could not because High Court Judge Laurian Kalegeya, as he then was, on November 7, 2009 ruled that the shares were not owned by Millicom International Cellular SA, but rather Millicom NV, a wholly separate legal entity.

However, on February 18, 2014, the plaintiff filed another application for execution against the same shares, which the applicant claimed were owned by Millicom International Cellular in Tigo.

On June 17, 2014, the District Registrar, Ms Pamela Mazengo, appointed Mr Mustafa Nyumbamkali of Super Auction Mart & Court Brokers as auctioneer and issued a prohibitory order attaching the shares Millicom International Cellular owned in Tigo.

The non-existent shares were purportedly sold by way of an auction on November 5, 2014 to an offshore company, Golden Globe International Services limited, allegedly controlled and beneficially owned by Mr Yusuf Manji.

On November 10, 2014, the Registrar issued a certificate of sale, concluding the execution in shares of Millicom International Cellular in MIC Tanzania limited.

Source: Tanzania Daily News