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– The Herald

WILLDALE Transport Services (Willtrans) liquidator Phibion Gwatidzo is not suitable to hold the office of a liquidator, the High Court has ruled, relieving him of his duties for selling assets of the company under liquidation without authority from the creditors.  

This followed an application by Willdale Limited seeking the removal of Gwatidzo as liquidator of Willtrans plus an injunction against convening a special meeting of the creditors then set for May 20 last year.

 Justice Owen Tagu last week granted the application by Willdale, finding that Gwatidzo disposed of the assets of the insolvent company without the authority of the creditors or the Master of the High Court.

In so doing, said the judge, Gwatidzo colluded with TLB and sold the assets to it thereby preferring one creditor over the other and failed to provide information to Willdale, a major creditor in the matter, of what he disposed and for what value.

“I am satisfied that there was collusion between the first and second respondents and he acted unreasonably and partially,”

said Justice Tagu.

“He, therefore, exhibited signs that he is not a proper and fit person to remain a liquidator. The applicant (Willdale)’s concerns are therefore valid.”

 Justice Tagu directed Willdale to appoint a new liquidator to replace Gwatidzo.

 Willdale and Terriers-Laxtop Banks listed as second respondent in the matter are shareholders and creditors of Willtrans under liquidation and hold 50 percent shares apiece.

 The two companies appointed Gwatidzo as the liquidator of the liquidity crunch company.  However,  Gwatidzo disposed of the company assets without the creditors authority.

 He even called a meeting of creditors where he advised them that he had already disposed of the assets of the company under liquidation. He also indicated that Terriers Laxtop Banks (TLB) has withdrawn its claim against the company. 

 Concerned that the TLB had not sought the approval of the creditors for the purported sale of assets, particularly in light of the withdrawal its partner claim, Willdale sought clarification in respect of the sale.

 Willdale then discovered that Gwatidzo had sold the assets to TLB thereby preferring one creditor ahead of others.

Gwatidzo opposed the application for his removal arguing that the Willdale failed to meet the requirements of an interdict.

 He also sought to argue that there were many remedies such as requesting for a meeting of creditors and or approaching the Master of High Court with its queries.

But the court found that he was not impartial and should be removed as a liquidator.

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