Court defers ruling on Shabanie Mashava Mines

Court defers ruling on Shabanie Mashava Mines
Published: 27 February 2014
The High Court has deferred to tomorrow the ruling on the urgency of a case in which South African-based businessman Mr Mutumwa Mawere wants the court to decide whether  Shabanie Mashava Mines is under reconstruction or not.

Mr Mawere is contesting ownership of the asbestos mine that was placed under judicial management in 2004 following serious financial problems that constrained its capacity to meet obligations.

On Monday Mawere's lawyers, Gutu and Chikowero Attorneys at Law, confirmed that the ruling was postponed to Friday.

"The judge will rule on the matter on Friday. He postponed the case to allow him ample time to study the submissions from both counsel," said Mr Obert Gutu.

Justice David Mangota last week heard arguments from both parties' lawyers and reserved judgment to Monday. However, the judge was not ready to rule on the matter prompting him to further postpone the ruling.

Mawere wants the court to make a declaratory order on the status of the asbestos mining company.

"The applicants are seeking a declaratory order to the effect that SMM Holdings Ltd is a company reconstructed pursuant to the operation of the provisions of . . . the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act . . . with effect from December 15, 2005 or alternatively January 1, 2006," said Mr Gutu

"With effect from January 1, 2006, Afaras Mtausi Gwaradzimba ceased to have any control and management of SMM Holdings Ltd pursuant to the provisions of Section 27(a) of the Act."

Mr Gutu added that Sect ion 35(1) of the Act only applies in respect of the affairs of companies where reconstruction is not feasible. The lawyer also feels the case should be treated as urgent in view of statements made by Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa in Senate recently.

Minister Chidhakwa told senators that Government through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation was committed to resuscitating operations at SMM, but the process had been stalled by Mawere's court interdict at the South African court.

The minister had last week submitted that SMM remained under reconstruction until an order to the contrary was made in terms of the enabling legal statute.

However, Minister Chidhakwa has since raised preliminary issues that he wants the court to determine. These include his submission that the matter was not urgent and that Mawere had no legal right to represent the firm, which stopped in 2008 due financial problems.

The minister also said the businessman's failure to cite Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa made his application fatally defective.

Minister Chidhakwa recently indicated that he was working with Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa to ensure the resumption of operations at all mines and projects that closed down.
- herald


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