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Chinamasa a commercial terrorist: Mawere

HARARE – Businessman Mutumwa Mawere has accused Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa of subjecting him to “commercial violence” through the actions taken in wresting control of his business empire.

Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy Monday, Mawere said the Justice minister had deliberately misinformed the nation on the financial position of his companies with the aim of taking them over.

“I have been subjected to commercial violence by the minister, which for me is highly unusual. You have a minister of justice, a lawyer for that matter, who is a perpetrator of such injustices and surprisingly everyone keeps silent,” Mawere said. “The state of the minister was not informed on indebtedness of the companies when he took his actions but on takeover.”

Mutumwa Mawere

He said contrary to public perception that he had acquired SMM Mines through a government guarantee, he said he had, in fact, secured a loan from local banks to finance the $60 million purchase price.

“Chinamasa has misrepresented that government used a guarantee to enable me to acquire the mines, but I actually got a loan from First Merchant Bank of $20 million, and for the balance of the $60 million I had to use the revenue generated to pay it off,” said Mawere.

He said the Reconstruction Act, which had been used to take hold of his companies, had created a monster which reflected negatively of the country’s business environment.

“You have a law that makes the minister the judge and administrator. There is no administrator in the world with the same powers. The law serves no actual purpose and was passed in this House,” the South African–based businessman said.

“At some stage someone has to protect people, there is need for protection of property otherwise everything done in this House is academic,” said Mawere. When quizzed about the effect of his nationality on the country’s empowerment laws, Mawere said the new law did not apply to him since he had acquired the mines and his businesses when he was still a Zimbabwean national.

“The law states that those disadvantaged in 1980 not in 2010, when I acquired my businesses I was indigenous. Anyway do you surely have to be in Zimbabwe to be Indigenous?” he asked.

Mawere said despite the collapse of the mines, the minister had not taken any actions to revive their operations. “The mine is not working, why is he (Chinamasa) not putting in place a reconstruction order to remove Gwaradzimba from administering their operations,” he asked.

Mawere said he will seek to regain control of all his business interest, adding efforts were underway to address the matter.

“I have a lot of companies that have been taken away from me and the law is clear that all those transactions are void. It’s like a prisoner who comes out of prison and even his clothes have been stolen,” he said.

Before the Reconstruction Act,  Mawere had a controlling interest in First Banking Corporation, General Belting,  Steelnet, Tube and Pipe, Turnall and Zimre Holdings Limited, and many other concerns. –Daily News