Mawere fights for SMM

The new owners of Shabanie and Mashaba Mines are ready to resuscitate them but are hamstrung by legal issues, says Mines Minister Obert Mpofu. The company has been in a protracted ownership wrangle between the owner Mutumwa Mawere and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which seized the mine.

Mutumwa Mawere
Mutumwa Mawere

Before it was transferred to ZMDC, SMM had been under judicial management for two years. The mine collapsed in 2008, leaving an estimated 3 000 workers jobless.

“The investor is ready to move in and the funding is available. But every time ZMDC makes a move to resume production, legal summons from the former owner start flying all over,” said Mpofu.

Mawere told The Zimbabwean the state should never be permitted to steal private property and then blame the victim for lawfully resisting such unacceptable behaviour. “This can never be in the interests of justice,” he said.

SMM had been under judicial management for two years

ZMDC says it has secured $20 million to resume operations at SMM and has been paying the workers who had gone for years without receiving salaries. The mine is reportedly sitting on reserves that can be exploited for the next 20 years.

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