Dube Manikai & Hwacha
Chairman and Senior Partner: Canaan Farirai Dube
Chairman of the Executive Committee: Edwin Manikai
Managing Partner: Milanda Manjengwah
Number of Partners: 7
Number of lawyers: 13
Languages: English, Shona
DMH is reputed as a top tier, respected, experienced and leading business law firms in Zimbabwe and for the year 2021, it was one of only four Band 1 ranked business law firms in Zimbabwe and had one of only four Band 1 ranked business lawyers in Zimbabwe. DMH were also retained to represent to represent public entities, including State Owned Enterprises. The firm’s named partners are highly regarded and currently Canaan Dube and Edwin Manikai chair Delta (largest and most admired company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange) and the Presidential Advisory Council, respectively. The firm has thirteen lawyers in total and fifty four percent of the lawyers in the firm’s Partnership are women.
Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate, Commercial/ M&A:
The firm advises clients on a wide range of specialised legal services in the commercial, corporate and financial services sector. Recently, the firm advised:
■ a blue-chip company on its delisting on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and listing on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.
■ On the resolution of a USD20M dispute involving a statutory institution.
■ On the acquisition of Dawn Properties Limited by African Sun Limited ( largest business, hospitality tourism player in Zimbabwe).
■ On the Acquisition of a controlling stake in GB Holdings Limited ( the largest mining consumer supplies listed on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange).
■ On the corporate restructuring of a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange & London Stock Exchange coal mining corporate.
■ On the Corporate restructuring of the largest retailer group in Zimbabwe.
■ On the privatization of a public entity
■ a local company on its ZWD100 million capital raise.
■ was involved as the local law legal advisor to Old Mutual plc. in its demerger exercise.
■ on the restructuring of a dual listed coal mining entity, as well as for the chrysotile mining group
■ one of the country’s largest fast-moving consumer goods on all its competition matters, including but not limited to advising on abuse of dominance indicators, merger and acquisition structuring and ensuring all subsidiaries within the group comply with competition laws and regulations. The team has managed to foster a good working relationship with the Competition and Tariff Commission of Zimbabwe.
Banking & Finance:
■ Acted for the biggest multilateral financial institution focused on promoting intra African trade in various facilities and initiatives spanning the Gold Sector, the Platinum Sector, Fuel Sector, the Banking Sector, telecommunication sector with roll up value of $1,4billion in renewals and fresh funding including COVID 19 related support.
■ Acted for one of the largest local banks Group quoted on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in facilities and securitisation of the diamond sector.
■ Zimbabwean Counsel in respect of loans by international and regional financial institutions to the local banks and companies;
■ Appointed legal advisor for a feasibility study for the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe Limited Climate Finance Facility.
The firm aims to advise and represent its clients (mostly taxpayers) with a high level of competence and diligence and is proud to have dealt with various tax disputes that came to a successful end. Some notable work includes, but not limited to:
■ successfully represented companies in the tourism industry resulting in a reprieve from government that led to the enactment of a statutory instrument that outlaws the tax assessments that had been raised against them and ultimately saving our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.
■ successfully defended a client in the Energy Industry against a claim made by ZIMRA, which resulted in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority withdrawing its matter.
■ providing tax opinions to both local and international clients, including international law firms, tax advisors. This has seen most of the clients listed above managing their tax affairs in line with the opinion given.
■ quite recently, the tax department has also been entrusted with high profile cases involving such tax areas that are considered novel in the Zimbabwean jurisdiction. Such areas include transfer pricing, tax strategy among other disciplines.
■ The firm has a growing intellectual property practice, with capability and experience in working with local and international clients in relation to the registration of intellectual property rights, with the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO), Africa Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO) and internationally through the Madrid System, intellectual property litigation and/or arbitration, advisory services related to intellectual property in Zimbabwe, drafting of all manner of agreements related to intellectual property (licence, assignment, software and ICT agreements),domain name registration and maintenance in liaison with Zimbabwe Internet Providers Association (ZISPA),registration of Plant Breeder’s Rights in terms of the Plant Breeders Rights Act [Chapter 18:16] and registrations in terms of the Seeds Act [Chapter 19:13].
Energy & Projects/ Mining:
■ Advised a blue chip mining company on power generation for a 105MW and 80MW solar power plant.
■ Restructuring of a multimillion United States dollar debt
■ Retained to act for licensed developer in 100MW Solar Energy Project phased out with initial 10MW due for financial close and development within 6 months of sign off.
■ Appointed local counsel for 2400MW hydro power project on the Zambezi River .
■ Appointed local counsel for a new gold mining venture with listing ambitions on Australian Stock Exchange .
■ Advised on the USD35m, USD110m, USD135m and USD188m Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company funded power projects;
■ advised an international bank on the loan, escrow and security arrangements of a US$ 319 million loan, for the implementation of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station 300MW project.
The firm’s dominance in the field of employment law is unparalleled. Its advisory services follow the full cycle of an employer/employee relationship from recruitment, immigration, employment contracts and remuneration, company employment policies (working in conjunction with human resources), internal hearings, dispute resolution and mediation, restructuring and retrenchment. Some recent notable work includes, but not limited to:
■ successfully represented National Foods Limited against claims for payment of various allowances, demands for salary increments based on awards handed down in the Zimbabwe dollar era. This saved the company a total liability of more than US$ 500 000.
■ counsel assisted the National Employment Council for the Banking Undertakings in drafting their new collective bargaining agreement. The department has also successfully represented clients such as ZESA Holdings Limited in matters relating to the interpretation of its collective bargaining agreements saving the entity from huge liability.
■ legal Counsel that pioneered the current status quo in applying the ‘Dirty Hands Principle’ when dealing with labour and employment disputes
Dispute Resolution & Litigation:
■ The firm offers specialist litigation services in the High, Supreme and Constitutional Courts of Zimbabwe with particular focus on civil and commercial litigation ranging from medium to high profile disputes concerning local, regional and international clientele and involving widely varying subject matters including mining, insurance, contract, construction, real estate, liquidation, judicial management, deceased estates, foreclosures and recoveries. The firm also has expertise in alternative dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation.
■ The firm has capability to deal with mandates with relating to land transfer and/or acquisition. The firm offers players in the property market a complete package of legal advisory services starting with the ability to conduct a legal due diligence on the property in question and rendering advice on any legal or technical issues arising regarding the property’s use and zoning. In addition to the usual legal services such as the negotiation and drafting of the agreement and transfer of land.
■ The firm also works closely with respected real estate practitioners, valuers, planners, architects and engineers who are able to deliver, at similar professional standards.
■ structuring of security packages for loan arrangements is one of the firm’s areas of expertise. This involves the drafting and perfection of securities which includes registration at with the Registrar of Deeds. The firm’s advisory services in this regard are unmatched in Zimbabwe.
Notable work includes:
■ lead local counsel for African Export-Import Bank on various multi-million-dollar transactions.
■ lead advisors and conveyancers for the country’s largest building societies in housing development projects and mortgage finance.
4 Fleetwood Road,
Tel: +263 24 225 0909-13 / +263 24 278 0351-2
Fax: +263 242 780350
Email: [email protected]
Provided by Dube Manikai & Hwacha