Delma Lupepe
Delma Lupepe Biography
BornDelma George Lupepe
Spouse(s)Abigail Lupepe
Parent(s)

Delma George Lupepe is a Zimbabwean businessman and former Zimpapers board chairperson. Lupepe ran a Premier Soccer League team, Amazulu Football Club.

Background

Wife

As of March 2017, Delma Lupepe is married to Abigail Nobuhle Mabaleka.[1]

In 2009 Lupepe married medical doctor Abigail Mabaleka at a ceremony held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Selbourne Park whose construction he financed.

The wedding was attended by high profile figures, including the late Vice-President Joseph Msika, retired colonel Tshinga Dube, tycoon Dinesh Naran and the then executive mayor of Bulawayo Japhet Ndabeni Ncube among others.[2]

Businesses

In July 2013, Southern Eye reported that the Registrar of Companies was contemplating de-listing Delma Lupepe's companies.[3] Lupepe attributed the failure of his businesses to the difficult operating environment, particularly in Bulawayo.

Merspin Limited

Merspin Limited was once Zimbabwe’s biggest towel manufacturer.

On 19 December 2018, The Herald reported that Lupepe's Merspin Limited which closed down in 2010 had secured technical partners from Switzerland to redesign the local plant and recommend new equipment for the proposed factory upgrade. In 2011, the High Court placed Merspin under judicial management after it accumulated debts amounting to US$6,3 million. More than 2 500 employees were owed salaries by the company.

The newspaper reported that Lupepe had cleared a legal battle between Merlin Limited’s judicial manager Mr Cecil Madondo and Maydeep Investment. Delma Lupepe, through Maydeep Investments, owns both Merspin and Merlin, a dormant company, which was under judicial management.

The Swiss technical partners, Multicom International, through their Southern African representative, Hans Schnider were expected to come up with a proposal for plant design and factory equipment specifications before the end of 2018.

Maydeep Investments executive director Mr Danisa Nkomo said they would then take the proposal to their Japanese investors, Teximatek and move their Memorandum of Understanding to a contractual agreement.

The Herald reported that the Japanese investor had committed to injecting $30 million into Merspin for the replacement of antiquated machinery and to restore productivity to competitive levels.

Nkomo said they have asked the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco) to pay the US$5 million debt owed to local creditors before the new investor could invest into Merspin.[4][5]

Properties

Career

In 2010, Lupepe helped raise €220,000 which was equivalent to US$330 000 at the time for Robert Mugabe's 86th birthday party.[7][8]

Zimpapers

In August 2019, Delma Lupepe left Zimpapers having joined as a board member in September 2009 before assuming the chairmanship on May 18, 2015. Prior to his appointment as chairperson, he served as Zimpaper's chairman of the Human Resources Committee.

Lupepe exited together with seven other board members, namely Dr Nyasha Madzingira and Mr Rungamo Mbire, who had served Zimpapers since 2009; Mrs Doreen Sibanda, Bishop Trevor Manhanga and Terrence Hussein, George Manyere and Felix Moyo, who had been on the Zimpapers board since February 2014.

Karen Dube, Rejoice Nharaunda and two executive directors remained on the board.[9][10]

Events

In 2017, High Court judge Martin Makonese ordered Bulawayo firm, Yatakal Trading (Pvt) Limited trading as Viking Hardware Distributors, to reimburse over $1,8 million to Ilasha Mining (Pvt) Limited following a botched mining equipment supply deal.

The ruling was made after Ilasha Mining managing director Delma Lupepe filed a chamber application to recover the money paid to Yatakal Trading before the deal collapsed. Yatakai did not respond to Lupepe's application.

In his application, Lupepe said Yatakal Trading received $1 808 829 from Fidelity Printers and Refineries (Pvt) Limited to hold in trust and subject to agreement with the applicant (Ilasha mining) for the purchase of equipment.

Lupepe said on September 6, 2017, his company entered into a $2,5 million loan facility arrangement with Fidelity Printers and Refineries. The agreement was that Delma Lupepe's company would repay the loan on or before December 12, 2017, in view that the firm would have by that time purchased the equipment and revived the business to full operation.[11]

Unpaid Rent

Lupepe accumulated US$18 000 in rental arrears for a house he rented in Matsheumhlope low-density suburb.

Lupepe was served with summons by the property owner, Ecobank, on August 20 2016 under case number HC8031/16.[12]

Imprisonment For Failing To Pay Loan

On June 27 2018, Lupepe was sentenced to three months in prison after he missed the March 21 deadline he had been given to pay back US$280 000 he owed Ecobank. Lupepe was sentenced to three months in prison in a default judgement by Harare High Court judge, Justice Isaac Muzenda. Justice Muzenda also ordered Delma Lupepe to pay legal costs.

Earlier in 2018, Ecobank had summoned Lupepe to the High Court in Harare, seeking his imprisonment for defying a six-year-old court order. The court then gave him until March 21 2018 to pay up.

Lupepe, however, ignored the ultimatum, prompting Ecobank through its lawyers Danziger and Partners, to approach the High Court again seeking his imprisonment, leading to a default judgment made on June 27 2018.[13]

Losing House After Failing To Pay Back Loan

In February 2019, Lupepe lost his bid to retain his property after the High Court threw out his application for more time to service a US$200 000 loan from Ecobank.

He had approached the court seeking rescission of judgment in a matter in which Ecobank had obtained an order to eject him after he failed to pay rentals for the property. Ecobank had taken Delma Lupepe's house following his failure to pay back the loan.[14]

Unpaid US$29 000 Loan

In 2017, Nissi Global (Pvt) Ltd took Delma Lupepe to court for failing to pay back US$29 000 that he borrowed sometime in 2016.

Nissi Global filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court on March 10, citing Lupepe and his wife as first and second respondents respectively. Nissi Global wanted a court order to enable them to sell Lupepe's Mercedes Benz motor vehicle model S500 which he had surrendered to them as collateral while his wife bound herself as a surety and guarantor in the deal.[1]

Auctioned Properties

In July 2013, the deputy sheriff attached three of Lupepe's houses, No 73 Heyman Road in Suburbs, 295 Colleen Road, Matsheumhlope — where his mother stayed — and a flat 1201, 12th Floor, Kenilworth, at Ascot.

The Suburbs property and the flat were auctioned by Bulawayo Real Estate for a combined total of $108 000.

The Matsheumhlope house was spared after the attachment was withdrawn.

Three financial institutions, Premier Banking Corporation, MBCA Bank and Interfin Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe had attached the properties seeking to recover debt owed to them. On 28 October 2013, Bulawayo Real Estate flighted another advert giving notice of an auction for four of Lupepe’s houses to recover an undisclosed amount his company, Merspin Limited, owed the three financial institutions.

The properties going under the hammer were No 72A Park Road and 11 Pauling Road in Suburbs respectively, 4 Bunting Close, Burnside, and a Flat 209 Arlington Court in Ascot, on Friday November 8.

In 2011 he was taken to court by Old Mutual Property Investments Corporation over a $450 000 debt after his companies Zimbabwe Express Services Limited and Merspin failed to pay rentals.[2][3]

House Wrangle

Lupepe was involved in a five-year legal battle with his former employee Tendai Madzorera over a house which he allegedly offered for sale, but later reneged on the agreement.

Lupepe, through one of his companies Electrical and Computer Technology Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, approached the Bulawayo High Court in 2006 seeking to evict Madzorera, a former Zifa vice-chairman, from a house in Fortunes Gate, Bulawayo.

Madzorera reportedly occupied the house when he was a general manager at one of Lupepe’s companies, Zimbabwe Express Services (Pvt) Ltd before he retired in May 2001.

Delam Lupepe also wanted Madzorera to pay Z$40 000 rentals for the period he occupied the house after the end of his contract.

However, Madzorera refused to vacate the property arguing that Lupepe had offered to sell the house to him and he accepted the offer and was only waiting for him to give him the price.

He said Lupepe should honour the contract or buy him out through payment of the market value of the property, as well as compensate him for improvements he made to the property.

In his affidavit, Lupepe said he never entered into any agreement with Madzorera to sell the house to him, but was given a severance package as a full and final settlement after the termination of his contract.[15]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 SILAS NKALA, Businessman Lupepe sued over $29 000 debt, NewsDay, Published: March 18, 2017, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  2. 2.0 2.1 RICHARD MUPONDE, Delma Lupepe in trouble again, Southern Eye, Published: October 29, 2013, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Muponde, Delma Lupepe houses sold for $108 000, Southern Eye, Published: July 21, 2013, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  4. Oliver Kazunga, Merspin secures Swiss partners, The Herald, Published: December 19, 2018, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  5. Nkululeko Sibanda, Chaos rocks Lupepe’s company, The Independent, Published: May 18, 2018, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  6. CHARLES LAITON, Vice President’s ex-wife jailed, The Standard, Published: October 20, 2019, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  7. Lavish birthday party for Mugabe, Irish Examiner, Published: February 27, 2020, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  8. $300K spent in Zimbabwe for Mugabe's 86th birthday, BET, Published: February 27, 2010, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  9. Ishemunyoro Chingwere, Kudos for outgoing Zimpapers board, The Herald, Published: August 3, 2019, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  10. New bosses for Zimpapers, bizcommunity.co.zw, Published: May 19, 2015, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  11. SILAS NKALA, Lupepe to get $1,8m in botched up deal, NewsDay, Published: December 8, 2017, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  12. CHARLES LAITON, Lupepe sued over rental arrears, NewsDay, Published: September 14, 2016, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  13. CHARLES LAITON, Delma Lupepe jailed 3 months, NewsDay, Published: July 11, 2018, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  14. CHARLES LAITON, Lupepe loses house over $200k bank loan, NewsDay, Published: February 1, 2019, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  15. Richard Muponde, Lupepe in house wrangle, Southern Eye, Published: July 13, 2013, Retrieved: April 29, 2022