The management of embattled Ghanaian mobile operator Kasapa Telecom has responded stridently to a recent High Court ruling that the appointment of its managing director, Robert N Palitz, and chief financial officer, Lung Hien Ching, was done inappropriately and that the name of the company should be changed back to its original name, Celltel. In a press release titled ‘The Facts of the Matter’, Kasapa said it was vital that it responded to the ‘deliberate and malicious spread of misinformation about the judgement of the High Court on 25 April 2007 in the case of Kludjeson International Limited (KIL) vs Robert Palitz and 3 others’.
The statement relates to a lawsuit brought by KIL and its representatives, Mr Prince Kofi Kludjeson and Mr Prince Kwame Kludjeson, which argued that the incumbent Board of Kasapa was not properly appointed, the decisions of the current Board were therefore invalid; the change of the company’s name to Kasapa was illegal; and that the appointment of Mr Palitz was improperly carried out.
However, Kasapa counters that it is challenging the court ruling – its appeal is scheduled to be heard on 21 May 2007 – and sets out its position concerning the alleged misinformation being spread by KIL. ‘The facts are: The shareholding of Kasapa remains intact and the previous shareholding of KIL in Kasapa has not been restored. Neither Mr Prince Kofi Kludjeson nor Mr Prince Kwame Kludjeson have been restored as directors of Kasapa. No actions of directors since the change of company name have been reversed. No order has been made that would affect the business of the Company or its customers’, it said.
Kasapa, a 100% subsidiary of Hutchison Telecom International Limited (HTIL) after Kludjeson forfeited his 20% holding, went on to point out that Mr Prince Kofi Kludjeson is currently ‘barred from acting as a director of any company in Ghana’ until 2010, and that in October 2004 he was found by the High Court to be a ‘key culprit’ in a fraud on Kasapa of more than USD474,000 – a charge he declined to offer a defence for.
Speaking to The Statesman newspaper earlier this week, Mr Palitz reassured customers that the court’s ruling would not have any impact on the company, saying ‘it will be difficult to impose a fraudster on us.’ He is confident that the judgement will not be upheld on appeal, but added that he would not be surprised if the hearing was delayed.