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Bill Watch Special - Mines Portfolio Committee Meeting 10th January
Veritas
January 09, 2010

Parliament have confirmed that there will be a meeting of the House of Assembly Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on Monday, 10th January to hear oral evidence from Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa on how Mr Mutumwa Mawere’s Shabanie and Mashava Mines [SMM] companies came to be taken over by the State under State-Indebted Insolvent Companies legislation. Mr Mawere gave the committee his side of the story when he appeared before it on 15th November last year. Mr Chinamasa failed to appear before the committee on three occasions in December.

The dispute between Mr Mawere and the Government dates back to 2004 when Mr Mawere personally, and SMM and his other companies, were declared to be “specified persons” under the Prevention of Corruption Act. This placed all his personal and company assets in Zimbabwe under the control of Government-appointed investigators to look into alleged corruption involving foreign currency. The specification was followed by an order, issued by Justice Minister Chinamasa, placing Mr Mawere’s companies under reconstruction in terms of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies) Regulations; this order put control of the companies in the hands of an administrator appointed by the Minister of Justice. In February 2005 the regulations were replaced by the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act, which confirmed orders made under the regulations. The companies have performed badly under the administrator’s management, there has also been a prolonged failure to pay workers at Shabanie and Mashava Mines and labour protests brutally put down by police. Failure to pay ZESA bills led to flooding of the mines, which were eventually shut down, drastically affecting jobs available in Zvishavane.

Mr Mawere has always argued that he and his companies were unfairly specified in a bid by Government to take over his considerable business empire. In May 2010 the co-Ministers of Home Affairs, after receiving a report from the investigators showing no evidence of foregn currency misuse [the reason for specification], revoked the specification of Mr Mawere and his companies, clearing the way for Mr Mawere’s return to the country and renewed efforts to recover his companies; several court cases are before the courts, including one in the Supreme Court. But the companies remain under the control of the Minister Chinamasa-appointed administrator under the Reconstruction Act. Parliament’s investigations are based on the premise that resolving Mr Mawere’s case is critical to renewed investor confidence in the rule of law and restoration of jobs in depressed areas.

Monday’s meeting will be open to members of the public as observers only

Date and time: Monday 10th January, 10 am

Venue: Senate Chamber

Chairperson: Hon. Chindori-Chininga Clerk: Mr Manhivi

As there are sometimes last-minute changes to arrangements for committee meetings, it is recommended that members of the public wishing to attend this meeting avoid possible disappointment by checking with the committee clerk that the meeting is still on and still open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 or 252936-55. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced.

Note: Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can send in written submissions by email to clerk@parlzim.gov.zw

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