Jeff Murimbechi

Three directors of Cassava Smartech stepped down yesterday in a move expected to increase transparency and independence of the board.

A unanimous shareholder vote approved the move at the company’s inaugural AGM in Harare yesterday.

The directors, board chair Tracey Mpofu, Strive Masiyiwa and Douglas Mboweni stepped down at the company’s short AGM at which all resolutions were unanimously passed.

Information gathered suggests some investors preferred a different board in light of the independence of the Board, given that the directors in question were attached to the Econet Wireless Group.

Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Director of Econet Wireless Group, a 35% shareholder in Cassava Smartech.

Mboweni is the current CEO of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. He succeeded Masiyiwa in 2002. Mpofu is the Group CFO and sits on the Econet Zimbabwe Board.

The Cassava Board also includes Elizabeth Masiyiwa and Darlington Mandivenga who is a senior executive with the Group.

EWZ owns another 20% of Cassava while two entities of Stanbic– Stanbic Nominees Limited (NNR) & Stanbic Nominees Limited – own 12,6% and 6.9% respectively. Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of Zimbabwe has a 5.6% stake in Cassava.

A separate resolution at the AGM approved the appointment of Dominic Musengi and Christopher Maswi as Board Members. The board is soon expected to meet and appoint a Chair.

The company also redenominated the par value of authorized share capital, comprising both issued and unissued ordinary shares, from US$0.001 to Zim$0.001, following the promulgation of SII42 of June 2019 which presented the Zim dollar as the sole legal tender in the country. A share buyback was also approved.