Mawere, govt headed for showdown over mines

Mawere, govt headed for showdown over mines
Published: 28 October 2013
South Africa-based Zimbabwe businessman Mutumwa Mawere is headed for a slowdown with the government following his recent application at the Constitutional Court (Concourt) to repossess his businesses taken over by the State.

Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa told journalists on the sidelines of a long service awards ceremony at Mimosa Mine in Zvishavane on Saturday that the government was ready to defend itself after Mawere filed an urgent Concourt application in a bid to repossess his businesses, among them, Shabanie and Mashaba Mines (SMM).

Chidhakwa said the government is confident of successfully fighting off a Constitutional Court bid by Mutumwa Mawere to reclaim businesses which were seized by the government.

"We are aware that Mawere has taken us to court and we are positive that we are going to respond to his court application and defend our case," mines minister Walter Chidhakwa said at the weekend.

"Of course the court case takes us away from the real issues of making sure that the mine comes back to life."

Mawere, who is based in South Africa, last Monday filed an application at the top court seeking to repossess the Zvishavane-based Shabanie Mashava Mines (SMM) and several other businesses seized by the State about nine years ago.

In August 2004, then justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, specified several companies linked to Mawere such as Endurite, SMM, UKI, FSI Agricom, and CFI Holdings clearing the way for their take-over by the government.

It was claimed that the companies were heavily indebted to various state entities, allegations denied by Mawere who was also specified at the time and only had the stricture lifted in 2010.

SMM, which employed thousands of people in Zvishavane, has since collapsed due to under-investment and various other operational problems.

Chidhakwa however, said plans were underway to revive the miner, now under the control of the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

"Shabanie-Mashaba Mines are key to the country economic development," said the minister.

"My deputy (Fred Moyo) recently met management at the mine to try and come up with strategies to bring the mine back to its feet. We have the spirit to get the company start working again. Even President Robert Mugabe appreciates the need to revamp operations at the mine.

"Asbestos is generally cheaper than tiles and not all of us can afford tiles. If the mine gets back to its feet, this would benefit the construction industry and even individuals who were failing to cope with the high cost of tiles." 
- newsday
Tags: Mawere,


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