HomeBusinessChinamasa fumes over SMM probe

Chinamasa fumes over SMM probe


But this has drawn the ire of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa who says he should have been informed of the investigations, which he feels are unnecessary.

Standardbusiness heard that DAA met SMM administrator, Arafas Gwaradzimba in November and questioned him on his appointment and past relationship with SMM, his conduct during which he did not engage the department and the ownership of SMM.

DAA concluded that SMM and or Mawere had not externalised funds and alleged that the administrator had not called in members of SMM to the meeting of creditors and members, as required by law.

In an angry letter to Jacob Gonese of the DAA, Chinamasa accused the DAA of unnecessarily interfering with the SMM reconstruction process and “playing the Mawere politics.

He said: “By touching on issues of externalisation and the SMM’s borrowings from the State, the DAA is interfering with matters before the courts, which is prejudicial.

“I cannot see why and how the DAA could still be investigating Mr Mawere after its conclusions that have led to Mr Mawere’s despecification and cancellation of his warrant of arrest.

“To say the least, this is totally unacceptable behavior, particularly coming from a senior government official,” Chinamasa wrote.

Gonese’s investigations on SMM was mandated by the chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Misheck Sibanda who in turn wanted to urgently brief President Robert Mugabe on the state of affairs at the company.

Gonese was unavailable for comment last week.

The SMM saga has drawn interest, moreso as the closure of the mines has left the future of hundreds of miners at stake.

The Parliamentary Portfolio on Mines and Energy has taken a keen interest on the SMM case and on Monday summoned Chinamasa to give an update.
Chinamasa told the committee that Mawere had violated section 58 of the  Companies’ Act Chapter 190 by using export proceeds to finance the purchase of shares in SMM and THZ Holdings.

He also told the committee that government now owns SMM after converting its debt into equity and buying the remaining stake from SMM Holdings (UK) for US$2 million.

He said Mawere’s Africa Resources Limited (ARL) had defaulted on its debts and government through AMG Global Nominees which had bought the shares in SMM Holdings (UK) and THZ Holdings (UK), the parent companies of the local entities.

Investigations by Standardbusiness show that whereas section 58 of the Companies Act prohibits such assistance, section 73 of the same Act does not prohibit that as long as such assistance is given in accordance with a special resolution of the company.

That special resolution was passed at SMM’s extraordinary general meeting of March 15, 1996.

After paying US$2 million, AMG took the matter to the UK court to be registered as the shareholders. The High Court threw away the case.
An appeal was made at the Supreme Court and in a landmark judgment it was ruled that ARL alone has title to the bearer share warrants relating to SMM Holdings Limited and THZ Holdings Limited.

It also ruled the ARL was not in default at the time of the conclusion of the AMG agreement.

It also ruled that AMG did not, pursuant to the Share Sale Agreement dated November 5, 2004, obtain any good title to the bearer share warrants.
Edward Chindori Chininga, the chairperson of the committee told Standardbusiness on Friday that they will comb through the reports and if there is plain misinformation “then there is a problem and it will be contempt of parliament.”

Chindori Chininga said what was worrying from the SMM saga is that it has become a personality instead of being a national issue.

“It’s now Mawere versus Chinamasa and the grass they are fighting on is Zimbabwe,” he said.

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