MPs to quiz administrator over mines closure

mining_zimHARARE -- Members of Parliament will today quiz government appointed administrator of Zimbabwes sole asbestos mining company Shabani Mashaba Mines (SMM) why the firm closed down under his watch.

The administrator Arafus Gwaradzimba took charge of the once highly profitable SMM after former owner, Zimbabwean born South African businessman Mutumwa Maware was specified by the government over allegations of illegally siphoning cash outside the country.

He subsequently left Zimbabwe for South Africa but has since been de-specified by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sources within Parliaments special committee on mines said todays hearings follows the committees tour of SMM mines last month to inspect the situation at the mines that were once one of the countrys largest employers.

“The committee on mines and energy will hold hearing on Shabani Mashaba Mines tomorrow,” as source within the committee said. “The committee will also review why management and the administrator have failed resulting in the mines being closed. Mr Gwaradzimba and his managers will attend to present and answer questions.”

Mawere has previously indicated that the mines were confiscated and placed under an administrator to punish him and settling of personal scores by politicians.

The mines have over the years scaled down operations resulting in thousands of employees loosing their jobs, while those remaining are only being given paltry allowances of US$50.00 as and when the funds are available.

Last month Mawere, James Makamba and John Moxon, the once exiled businessman were de-specified but attorney general, Johannes Tomana has indicated that trio still faced arrest upon returning home.

Tomana said the de-specification of the three businessmen did not absolve them of charges that could still arise from allegations of externalisation of foreign currency and defrauding the government.

Makamba and Moxon were specified under the Prevention of Corruption Act following accusations of externalising foreign currency while Mawere was accused of defrauding government. The three are still holed up outside the country, fearing arrest if they returned.

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