BULAWAYO business mogul Delma Lupepe’s empire appears to be crumbling, as a number of banks have swooped on three of his houses in the city which they intend to auction to recover undisclosed debts his companies owe the financial institutions.
Lupepe’s Merspin and Bernard Construction owe Premier Banking Corporation, MBCA Bank and Interfin Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe after reportedly failing to repay loans leading to the garnishing order.
One of the properties that is due to be auctioned is an apartment the flamboyant Lupepe owns at Ascot’s Kenilworth Towers.
According to a notice by Bulawayo Real Estate (Pvt) Limited on behalf of the Sheriff of the High Court, Lupepe has lost his flat at No 1201 12th floor Kenilworth in Bulawayo to Premier Banking Corporation over an unspecified loan amount.
Another property, a double-storey residential house, No 73 Heyman Road in Suburbs in Bulawayo, will go under the hammer in compensating MBCA Bank after Merspin also failed to service another loan at the bank.
The double-storey house has four bedrooms, staff buildings and a swimming pool, among developments on the stand.
Interfin also seeks to recover a loan it extended to Merspin and Bernard Construction through the sale of
another residential stand, no 295 Matsheumhlophe, Colleen Road, where Lupepe’s mother resides.
The auction of the three houses and other properties will be held at the New Royal Zim Hotel on Friday July 19. Lupepe is literally singing the blues, as his business empire is apparently crumbling.
His textile company Merlin was placed under provisional judicial management for the second time in 10 years.
The company was battling from low capitalisation and requires close to $1 million to revamp its operations.
Lupepe also had running battles with his employees over failure to pay salaries, with arrears as high as $300 000.
The former Amazulu Football Club owner is on record attributing the failure of his businesses to the difficult operating environment, particularly in Bulawayo.
The businessman could not be reached for comment, despite strenuous efforts to contact him.