BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
South African-based Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere has filed a Constitutional Court application against President Emmerson Mnangagwa accusing him of having used the seizure of his companies to position himself in Zanu PF’s factional fights to succeed the late former president Robert Mugabe.
In a notice of intervention filed at the ConCourt last Thursday, Mawere said Mnangagwa played a major role in the hostile takeover of Shabanie Mashava Mines (SMM) Holdings through the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act, blamed by many for destroying several companies.
Government took over SMM management through the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act and appointed an administrator, Arafas Gwaradzimba.
The law was enacted by Mugabe to allegedly protect SMM from legal action and the attachment of the company’s property by local and foreign debtors.
But in his notice of intervention Mawere said Mnangagwa must come clean on the Act citing section 2(1) as read with s2(2) and s85 of the constitution that entails intervening parties to approach the ConCourt to provide evidence exposing the president.
“The application is concerned about the alleged breach of the first respondent’s oath of office when he refused and failed to take any action including ordering the investigations of the remarks that the second respondent made on his knowledge regarding the first respondents direct involvement in the decision to use state power for political purposes or more precisely to position him as the successor to the late president Mugabe in an alleged major political fight,” Mawere, who is a self-actor in the application submitted in his affidavit.
Mawere, SMM Holdings Limited, Africa Resources Limited, Africa Construction Limited, Tap Building Products Limited, Friends of Shabanie Mashava Mines Trust are listed as intervening parties one to six.
Mawere filed the notice of intervention after a Harare man, Tichaona Mupasiri dragged Mnangagwa to the ConCourt over his appointment of Patrick Chinamasa in 2019 as director and chairman of the embattled Air Zimbabwe arguing that it was inconsistent with the constitution.
Mupasiri said at the core of the application was Mnangagwa’s actions to the affairs of SMM Holdings (Private) Limited (SMM), Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Air Zim) and Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL).
He cited Mnangagwa and his lawyer Edwin Manikai as first and second respondent.
“It is astonishing that the first respondent (Mnangagwa) admits knowledge of the facts in the cause yet is unwilling to assist a member of the public and this court in shedding light on when he got to know the facts about SMM reconstruction, in what contest, from whom and why he was involved,” Mawere added.
“It is not clear how the first respondent who claims under oath would be fixed with the knowledge of a private company’s indebtness to an imaginary creature called the State.
To the extent that the first respondent alleges indebtness, such indebtness would have been common cause between the alleged creditor and debtor.
“With respect to SMMs shareholders, they are not aware of any indebtness of the company to any creature called the State.
“It is clear that the first respondent is implicated directly in the SMM matter hence his deliberate attempt to undermine the due and proper administration of justice using this court as his trusted and predictable weapon.