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High Court to rule on SMM case
23/02/2014 00:00:00
by The Herald
 
Court challenge ... Mutumwa Mawere
 
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THE High Court is Monday expected to rule on the urgency of a case in which businessman Mutumwa Mawere wants the court to determine whether Shabani Mashava Mine is under reconstruction or not.

High Court judge, Justice David Mangota deferred the case to Monday after hearing submissions from both counsel.

Mawere, represented by Advocate Eric Matinenga submitted that Government ministries were sending conflicting signals regarding SMM hence the need for the court to make a declaratory order on the status of Zvishavane based mine.

The businessman said what triggered the urgency of the case were statements made by Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa in Senate recently.

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, 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 South Africa-based businessman’s failure to cite Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa made his application fatally defective.

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

In 2011, Mawere threatened legal action against ZMDC when the State enterprise said it was taking over management of Zimbabwe’s sole asbestos mining firm.

ZMDC said it was doing so to fulfil the Government mandate to save jobs and economic recovery of the country.

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.



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