Chinamasa faces jail

Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa could face imprisonment after a parliamentary committee accused him of lying under oath in the ongoing investigations into his role in the collapse of Shabanie Mashaba Mines (SMM Holdings).

Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo told legislators on Tuesday that he was studying the report by the portfolio committee on mines and energy, chaired by Zanu (PF) MP Edward Chindori-Chininga.

“The committee noted that Chinamasa could have lied under oath regarding the possession of bearer share certificates that he promised to avail to the committee,” Moyo said.

Chinamasa, along with the SMM administrator he appointed in 2004, Arafas Gwaradzimba, is accused of contempt of parliament after his statements allegedly violated the Priviledges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act.

Chinamasa had told the committee that the government was now the owner of SMM after paying US$2 million to former owners Turner and Newall (T&N) of Canada. He said after the payment, T&N had issued the bearer share certificates as proof that the government owned a stake in the troubled SMM.

The company had been bought from T&N in 1994 by businessman Mutumwa Mawere, who was stripped of the firm by Chinamasa in 2004 following allegations that he had committed crimes and failed to settle state debts.

Moyo said he would soon rule on whether or not contempt charges should be laid against Chinamasa. If the charges are proved, Chinamasa could be jailed or fined.

Post published in: Zimbabwe News

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