Kamushinda Dispute Over Repayment of Stolen Funds from Namibian SME Bank

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THE embattled Zimbabwean banker Enock Kamushinda and minority shareholder in Namibia’s liquidated SME Bank, finds himself entangled in a payment dispute with the bank’s liquidators.

Initially agreeing to repay N$140 million (equivalent to approximately $9.2 million USD) of the N$247 million stolen from the bank, Kamushinda has only remitted N$3 million ($197,500 USD) and is now contesting the validity of the settlement agreement.

According to documents from the High Court of Zimbabwe, Kamushinda claims he was coerced into signing the agreement out of fear of arrest and deportation. Allegations of threats prompting his signature have been vehemently denied by David Bruni, the bank’s liquidator, who highlights the absence of evidence to support Kamushinda’s claims.

Kamushinda, named by liquidators as the alleged mastermind behind the looting of N$247 million from SME Bank between December 2013 and December 2016, left Namibia voluntarily before the Bank of Namibia assumed control of SME Bank in March 2017.

Despite Kamushinda’s assertions, emails and court documents reveal his active participation in settlement negotiations, initiated by himself through his former lawyer, Francois Bangamwabo.

The settlement agreement, signed in December 2020, saw Kamushinda commit to repaying N$140 million. However, subsequent payments fell short of the agreed amount, with only N$3 million remitted thus far. Kamushinda attributed the delay to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and sought to renegotiate payment terms.

Bruni contends that Kamushinda’s attempts to evade settlement obligations constitute a breach of contract and dismisses claims of coercion as lacking merit. The dispute underscores the complexities surrounding the repayment of stolen funds and highlights the challenges faced in reaching a resolution.

Despite Kamushinda’s dismissal of Bangamwabo, who confirmed termination of his representation, the matter remains unresolved, leaving the liquidators and stakeholders in limbo regarding the outstanding debt.