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Cameroonian Businessman Sidelined By Mauritanian Firm Over Rwanda Hydro-power Deal




The Commercial Court in Kigali is expected to adjudicate in a highly contentious business dispute between shareholders of Refad Rwanda Ltd Company.

The shareholders in this Refad company include Jacques Ntogue with a 49% stake, while Omnicane a Mauritanian sugar-sector giant controls 51% of shares.

“I was the founder and Chairman of Refad Rwanda. With the majority shareholding. When Omnicane  came in they got 51% and committed to invest U$3Million Equity in the project. We have never seen that,” Ntogue told Taarifa in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Refad company is currently managing construction of two hydroelectric dams in southwest Rwanda.

However, these shareholders have not been in good business relations as Ntogue accuses Omnicane of fraud, attempting to sideline him in the hydroelectric dam project. He has chosen to drag his partner to the Kigali commercial court accusing Omnicane of forgery to steal his shares in the Refad company.

In 2019, there was a sudden increase in the capital of Refad company and this happened without the knowledge of Ntogue but later learnt in 2020 that his shares in the company had been stolen or diluted or even chopped from 49% to a very shy figure of 1.52%.

For any Business person such an action would not just be left to pass. Ntogue quickly swung into action and filed a complaint in the commercial court but also appealed to Rwanda Development Board.

A dissatisfied Ntogue badly wanted the capital increase annulled.

In its argument, Omnicane argues that it took an equity stake in Refad in December 2014 and argues that Ntogue had never paid the equivalent of U$ 3million he should have done for his shares.

“This is not true. When Omnicane came, I had already secured; feasibility study, Environmental study, land acess and land rights- all this work took at least 5 years and was paid for from Jacques Ntogue pocket,” according to his lawyer Isaac Ndahiro.

Ndahiro further explains that Omnicane made 3 due deligence missions in Kigali, met 3 minister, EWSA directors and apointed a Swiss company Stuky that validated technical and financial studies. There was no mention that Refad Rwanda will inject an extra U$3million and give 51% share to Omnicane.

Meanwhile, in November 2019, Omnicane offered to Jacques Ntogue to buy 49% share for €uro600,000. Ntogue rejected that and instead offered to buy 51% of Omnicane for €uro 3million.

However, Ntogue previously told  Africa Intelligence that this amount corresponds to the sum the firm spent on feasibility and environmental impact assessments before Omnicane came on board.

In a nutshell, Ntogue told Taarifa that Omnicane refused to follow RDB guidelines when RDB realised the Fraud.

“The capital increase not only was a fraud, but it never happened since with 49% of shares we were never informed about this capital increase,” Ntogue said.

In another submission, Ntogue says that Omnicane with a local accomplice has organised a tax evasion by a fabricated loan to the local company- a loan that has no evidence nor trace, “This is pure fraud.”

According to Ntogue, all these major operations should have requested a board meeting followed by a shareholders meeting,  “None of these meetings took place.”

Since the matter is already in the courts of law, “we request that the court request an independent audit. To know what has happened since we have being asking for 5 years to get company financial data. And that the court follows RDB request to give us back our 49% shares.”

Below are details of a letter written by RDB’s Registrar General Richard Kayibanda and addressed to Dieudonne Nzafashwanayo of ENSAfrica, Ref: RDB/3/RG/1735/11/2020. Copied on this letter include; Shield Associates, Omnicane Ltd and Omnihydro.

Reference is made to your letter of 25 september 2020 where you requested the Registrar General to reconsider the decision to rescind the approval of the change filed by REFAD RWANDA LTD in the office of the Registrar General since June7, 2019 as detailed in the letter addressed to OMNIHYDRO Ltd (your client) on September 16, 2020.

As we informed your client in the letter of September 16, 2020, the rescission of the approval of the filed changes in REFAD  was based on the provisions of the articles 191 and 194 of the law no17/2018 of 13/04/2018 governing companies.

The reading of the two articles makes it clear that notwithstanding anything a company’s incorporation documents (in this case the clause 12 (I) of the articles of Association of REFAD RWANDA Ltd adopted on May 8, 2020), no action may be taken by a company which affects, “the rights, privileges, limitations and conditions attached to the share by this  law of the incorporation documents, including any voting rights and rights to distributions attached to the share” unless that action has been authorised by a special resolution of each class.

This indicates that the provisions of the articles of association of Refad affecting Refad Group AG right to vote cannot be exercised if not taken by a shareholders’ special resolution in which at least 75% of shares (as registered by then in the registry of companies) are represented.

Please note that when the decision which affected Refad Group AG voting right was taken, the latter had 75 ordinary shares representing 49% of the total shares. This means that in this situation it was not possible to take a special resolution in its absence.

From the above we would like to inform you that the decision rescinding the approval of the filed changes in Refad Rwanda ltd/ Omnihydro Ltd as communicated to the latter on September 16, 2020 remains unchanged.

we also take this opportunity to remind Omnihydro ltd to restore the company records in the registry in their status as initially requested in our letter of September 16, 2020 immediately upon receipt of this letter, failure of which, it shall be effected by our office.

This is a developing story, Taarifa will bring you extra details in a series

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Most Expensive Home in America To Be Auctioned



The One mansion of the largest private homes ever built, with a colossal 105,00sq ft of living space will go to the highest bidder tonight during a public auction.

Once valued at $500 million, The One mansion in Bel-Air is being sold for $295 million and will be on the open market until it is auctioned off by Concierge Auctions, an online auction marketplace, from February 28 to March 3.

The home will be sold without reserve, meaning it will sell to the highest bidder. Even if it sells close to the price it’s listed at, it will surely break records.

Currently, billionaire and hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin’s $238 million New York penthouse in 2019 holds the record as the most expensive U.S. home ever sold.

Developed by Nile Niami, the massive estate took more than 10 years to build and created massive debt for Niami. His development company, Crestlloyd, filed for bankruptcy last year, forcing the home to careen towards auction as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

However, the home still has about 12 more months of work. The buyer will have to put down nearly $340,000 as a deposit.

The Los Angeles home is one of the largest ever built, and is twice the size of the White House. It spans 105,000 square feet and the property sprawls over 3.8 acres.

Outdoor features include a moat of water on three sides of the home, five pools, a 10,000-square-foot deck and a 400-foot outdoor running track.

The home is more like a personal, private resort than a single-family home. There are a whopping 21 bedrooms, 42 full bathrooms and seven half bathrooms.

Despite its grandiose nature, there is a pared-down, neutral color palette throughout and calming water features.

Within the home, there are custom-curated artworks from artists Mike Fields, Stephen Wilson and glass artist Simoe Cenedese, to name a few. Soaring, 26-foot ceilings make the home feel even larger than it is (if that’s possible), and rooms are oversized and expansive.

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Rwanda-Uganda Full Trading Resumes



Full trading between Rwanda and Uganda is scheduled to resume on Monday January 31st following Kigali announcement that it had opened locks on its borders shut in March 2019.

“Rwanda has taken note that there is a process to solve issues raised by Rwanda, as well as commitments made by the government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” Kigali said in the statement.

Since the border closure Rwanda and Uganda recorded a significant reduction in trade flows and was further worsened by the covid-19 pandemic that struck a year after Rwanda had slammed its doors to the northern neighbour.

Before the border was closed in 2019, Uganda export revenues fetched from trading with Rwanda were valued over U$600million. During 2020 Uganda Exports to Rwanda was US$2.31 Million, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

President Paul Kagame said in his new year address that Rwanda prospered in the economic front.

“We are beginning the year 2020 after a successful 2019.Our country remained safe as a result of our efforts”.

The Africa Development Bank in its 2019 outlook on Rwanda, projected robust growth prospects even as the standoff with Uganda heightened.

For example, Rwanda and Tanzania signed the standard gauge railway (SGR) deal dubbed, sub-Saharan Africa’s first 570 Km bullet line with Tanzania worth US$2.5 billion.

Also Rwanda by December 2019 signed a U$1.3 billion deal on Bugesera Airport with Qatar.

One of the biggest blows that Uganda suffered in its standoff with Rwanda was the emergence of Tanzania as Rwanda’s new major trading partner.

Uganda exports to Rwanda include; mineral fuels, oils, distillation products ,plastics ,textiles ,cereals , electronics, vehicles, machinery, fish, edible fruits, soaps, cement, lubricants, waxes, candles and an assortment of manufactured articles.

With the border slated for opening on Monday, the gesture is expected to boost  the movement of goods, transport, persons and services and under strict observation of restrictions against covid-19 pandemic.

How Museveni Lost to Kagame in Race For Regional Dominance

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Akabanga Tycoon Diversifies to Petroleum



Sina Gerard famed for producing the hot oiled pepper ‘akabanga’ has diversified into petroleum products, Taarifa Business desk reports.

Under a new company registered as Sina Gerard Petroleum Ltd, the tycoon’s decision indicates that he is reading from a good business book on diversification strategy.

Diversification is a business development strategy in which a company develops new products and services, or enters new markets, beyond its existing ones.  Companies diversify to achieve greater profitability.

Diversification will never be an easy game, and managers must study their cards carefully. It takes smart players to know when it’s best to raise their bets and when it’s best to fold.

Havard Business review research suggests that if managers consider the following six questions, they can push their thinking still further to reduce the gamble of diversification. Answering the questions will not lead to an easy go-no-go decision, but the exercise can help managers assess the likelihood of success.

The issues the questions raise, and the discussion they provoke, are meant to be coupled with the detailed financial analysis typical of the diversification decision-making process.

Together, these tools can turn a complex and often pressured decision into a more structured and well-reasoned one.

Thus, when managers consider whether or not to diversify, they should ask themselves the following questions:

What can our company do better than any of its competitors in its current market?

Before diversifying, managers must think not about what their company does but about what it does better than its competitors.

What strategic assets do we need in order to succeed in the new market?

To diversify, a company must have all the necessary strategic assets, not just some of them.

Can we catch up to or leapfrog competitors at their own game?

Will diversification break up strategic assets that need to be kept together?

Managers need to ask whether their strategic assets are transportable to the industry they have targeted.

Will we be simply a player in the new market or will we emerge a winner?

What can our company learn by diversifying, and are we sufficiently organized to learn it?

Like good chess players, forward-thinking managers will think two or three moves ahead.

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