5 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Choppies Suspended CEO Criticises Sens Announcement

Suspended Choppies chief executive officer, Mr Ramachandran (Ram) Ottapathu has hit out at the company for criticising him in Stock Exchange News Services (Sens) announcements in Botswana and South Africa.

He was responding to a Sens announcement published by Choppies recently, (3 June 2019) which claimed his suspension was "valid and proper" and related to "an aggregation of activities and conduct" by him, which would "in due course be made known to shareholders, once the various investigations referred to in previous announcements by the Company are completed."

To date, and despite numerous requests from his legal representatives, Choppies have failed to provide any particular facts about the charges against him.

Mr Ottapathu said: "This is simple character assassination which does not give me a chance to defend myself. I was suspended without notice and without a hearing.

"I deny the insinuations and allegations that I have done anything wrong. I have said repeatedly that I have not been involved in material wrongdoing or that I benefited financially from any of the transactions which have now been under investigation since our shares were suspended almost a year ago.

"I am going to challenge my suspension in court at the soonest opportunity - as I do not believe it is justified or that it was done in a manner which was valid or proper. I have also called on the board to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders at which this issue will be raised and where I will propose that various changes be made to the Board of Directors in order to ensure that it properly represents the interests of shareholders."

He added: "The company criticises me for comments made in the media. Yet they use their access to Sens, which access is denied to me, to attack me."

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