Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mawere saga: Court reserves judgment

Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court on Monday reserved judgment in the appeal by SMM Holdings owner Mutumwa Mawere against a decision by the High Court upholding the seizure of his assets by Mugabe’s regime in 2004.

The court wants to rule on preliminary points raised by the Government before hearing arguments on the merits. This ruling on the preliminary points will map the way for the main appeal before the court.

Justice Wilson Sandura adjourned the case after hearing arguments from lawyers representing SMM Holdings and Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa who is said to have taken a personal involvement in the matter, blocking all out of court attempts to return Mawere’s companies.

Before the main case is heard, the court has to rule on whether Mawere, being a South African resident, should be affected by specification under the controversial Prevention of Corruption Act.

It also needs to decide whether the Reconstruction of State Indebted and Insolvent Companies Act can apply to companies registered in the United Kingdom, such as SMM Holdings. The 2004 Act saw the appointment of Afaras Gwaradzimba as administrator of SMM Holdings and subsequently the pillaging of the business empire’s assets.