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EXCLUSIVE: Kigali City Tycoon Charles Mporanyi In KBC Ownership Row

Special Report

EXCLUSIVE: Kigali City Tycoon Charles Mporanyi In KBC Ownership Row

All that glitters is not gold, they say.

The new shiny and beautiful commercial complex known as KBC opposite Kigali Heights in Kigali city has an untold story of shareholders who have been involved in a feud for almost a decade.

Taarifa has exclusively learnt that shareholders of the magnificent 24,000 square meter property have had a prolonged and bitter quarrel over it’s mismanagement, lack of transparency and lack of fair sharing of its proceeds.

Initially, KBC belonged to five shareholders each with 20% stake.

These were Charles Mporanyi, Agnes Kamuhinda, Theoneste Nsengimana, Ignace Kanyabugoyi and Stanislous Mbonampeka.

By end of 2009, Mporanyi bought off Mbonampeka. How he acquired Kanyabugoyi’s shares was another feud. Both men are notorious genocide convicts.

It is said that Kanyabugoyi, who served his sentence in Rwanda, sued Mporanyi and lost the case “due to his own shortcomings.”

But Mbonampeka, who was sentenced in absentia and is still at large on a red interpol notice as category one genocide fugitive, was bought off.

Taarifa has obtained documents indicating a purported engagement where Mporanyi was supposed to pay Mbonampeka about Rwf169 million, but eventually offered him about Rwf80million, a scenario that triggered a disastrous outburst from Mbonampeka.

A copy of an email from Mbonampeka in 2009 writing to Mporanyi indicates him pleading and demanding justification for a lesser offer on a property he estimated to be more than Rwf900 million.

Meanwhile, Rwandan laws punish anyone in contact or involved in dealings with fugitives or anyone who purchases properties that belong to genocide convicts, especially if they were supposed to be sold off to compensate genocide survivors.

The genocide survivors in question, collectively expect over Rwf100 million from Mbonampeka’s assets.

The survivors, through CNLG and IBUKA, are still pursuing Mbonampeka’s properties, according to a copy of a letter from one of the shareholders requesting authorities for mediation.

Taarifa has obtained verified documents, where in one of them survivors seek litigation and other documents from IBUKA and CNLG addressed to former Criminal Investigation Department at Rwandan National Police on January 28, 2015 requesting for an investigation into the matter.

The fate of the survivors is still mysterious.

The two remaining shareholders with Mporanyi, represented by Serge Kamuhinda for Agnes Kamuhinda and Felix Nsengimana for Theoneste Nsengimana, have remained jittery with a case of co-owning a property that carries a badly tinted past and the company being mismanaged.

They are even considering opting out of the marriage by selling their shares to Mporanyi or to another suitor, if the matter gets out of hand, they told Taarifa.

At first, registered in 1980, the business had a printery called Imprimerie de Kigali (IMKI), a commercial complex and extra land.

Later, the assets of the printery, according to the letter to the mediator from the other shareholders, was later sold off to another printery called PRINTEX in manner the other two shareholders say was illegal.

PRINTEX was represented by another business man called Robert Bayigamba.

Later, the shareholders of IMKI discovered that Mporanyi himself is a major shareholder of PRINTEX and Bayigamba was only “fronted” as an ‘insider trading’ move.

PRINTEX is said to be under the management of Mporanyi’s son, Gilles Mporanyi.

A document alleging this transaction technique was shared with Taarifa as well.

Mediation goes bad

A shareholders meeting was held at a later stage resolving to seek a re-capitalisation into the company and to seek a bank loan to develop the KBC plot worth Rwf1.6 billion into a swanky and lucrative commercial complex. each shareholder had to inject in cash equivalent to their share size.

About Rwf11 billion was secured from two local banks in addition to Rwf6 billion injection collected from the shareholders where the final shareholding of the minority shareholders dropped to less than 20%  after Mporanyi outmatched their contribution.

Construction began and was completed this year, 2018. Tenants have already began occupying the complex.

Until the completion of the construction works, the minority shareholders say they have never been provided with any records whatsoever.

Persistence to secure audited reports from Mporanyi, who is the Chairman, has yielded no positive results.

The other two shareholders requested the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to mediate the heated dispute.

Mediation meetings have been held, chaired by RDB CEO, Claire Akamanzi. No meeting has ended on a positive note because Mporanyi opted out.

Each of the two shareholders hired a private valuator to produce separate reports to compare notes and be able to conclude what they should get in the event buying them off becomes the ultimate decision.

“Our objective is not money per se,” says Kamuhinda adding that, “It is for a competent authority to investigate the matter and conduct an audit.”

Mporanyi has trashed their reports, but offered an internal report, which they also rejected.

Mediation did not stall because of the dispute on the value of the property, but because minority shareholders want the company to be corporately governed and valuation of the company to be investigated in an independent audit.

They however say that Mporanyi refused to buy their shares at any price and refused to conduct an independent audit.

He denies having been requested to provide any independently audited report.

“They never asked for it,” he told Taarifa. “Can they provide any evidence for their claims?” he asked.

Taarifa has however seen a copy of an email from Felix Nsengimana to Mporanyi indeed requesting for the report.

Mporanyi refused to buy out the shareholders at the compromise price set by RDB, Rwf540 million for Kamuhinda and about Rwf1.6 billion for Nsengimana.

The estimated value of the property is in the range of US$22million (about Rwf19.5 billion).

Mporanyi rejected their request and mediations stalled. For the other shareholders, what is at stake is an audit.

Management

According to the company management structure, Mporanyi was always the Chairman, his daughter Janviere Mporanyi and later his son David Mporanyi as Managing Directors of the company. All were employees of the company including Mporanyi.

Mporanyi has now contracted Century, a local Real Estate firm to manage the property.

Mporanyi’s dealings always going bad?

In an exclusive interview with Moses K Gahigi published on a local blog, the Afrochampions Initiative, in April 2018 Mporanyi, describes how he created his wealth through meticulous investment decisions.

He told the reporter how he prepares to retire from business and KBC being his last activity after recently selling his insurance company, SORAS, he founded and run for 32 years, to a South African financial services group, Sanlam.

Had it not been for a track record in running a financial services company, the South African firm was about to undergo a catastrophic fall down “due to two separate incidences of financial irregularities uncovered in the Soras Group,” according to Ian Kirk, Sanlam Group’s CEO as reported by a South African publication; The Morning Side News.

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) acquired a 63% stake in SORAS, Rwanda’s largest life and non-life insurance company, for $24.3 million in mid-2014 and has since recapitalised the business, such that it now owns almost 75% of SORAS and has worked hard to recover funds lost after fabricated data.

Ian Kirk was quoted saying that, “We found that there was some manipulation of the financial statements on which we did our transaction when we acquired the business…”

Taarifa offered Mporanyi an exclusive interview to explain most of the allegation, some of which we opted not to disclose because we have not yet obtained credible evidence.

He agreed to meet only to cancel the meeting hours before. “I am busy,” he said. “I can only be available on Monday next week, besides, if you have all the details about what you are asking me about, what else do you need from me?” he said before hanging up.

He threatened to sue Taarifa if he finds “false information” about him and his dealings in the article.

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