MDC Senator calls for Commission of Inquiry on Mawere's assets

HARARE – The development could open a can of worms and will put under the microscope Arafas Gwaradzimba’s reign as administrator of Mawere’s empire since 2004 when the government placed the companies under “reconstruction.”

Holland told Senate on Wednesday that only a Commission of Inquiry would clarify how the government was involved in the case.

"We need to know how the government is involved. There is need for clarity," she told the Senate.

In an interview with Standardbusiness on Friday, Holland said: "We want to get this thing sorted out. If there are those who stole the money, let us get the criminals."

She said MDC Senators instead of commenting on President Robert Mugabe’s speech on the opening of Parliament which has no bearing on what was happening to the people of Zimbabwe, the party wanted to use Senate for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.
Holland said after her presentation her colleagues wanted to know the terms of references of the Commission and she was consulting fellow Senators in identifying the parameters through which the Commission would operate.

The terms of references are likely to be tabled when Senate resumes sitting next month.
Standardbusiness wrote last week that TAP had paid US$700 000 to service providers, including AMG for the period it was under Arafas Gwaradzimba’s administration. AMG (Zambia) had received US$345 829.98. The revelations by this paper prompted Holland to move a motion for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry.

The proposed Commission would investigate whether SMM was indebted to the government as alleged and whether it was insolvent.

The Commission would seek to establish why the government after declaring SMM insolvent then tasked a nominee company, AMG Global Nominees, to buy the alleged insolvent company.

Mawere — whose business interests spanned across virtually all sectors of the country — was in 2004 accused of externalizing vast sums of money. After failing to extradite him to Zimbabwe, reconstruction laws were used to wrestle his companies.

The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Reconstruction of State — Indebted Insolvent Companies) Regulations in 2004 resulted in the appointment of Gwaradzimba as administrator of SMM Holdings.

Mawere was labelled a fugitive from justice. Only last month, the South African businessman got respite after the Supreme Court ruled that Mawere had not deliberately put himself beyond the reach of the law and as such would not be classified as fugitive from justice.

A move by Gwaradzimba to run TAP on a Zambian High Court ruling ticket that by virtue of being an associate company of SMM, TAP should be put under reconstruction backfired in August after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Mawere. The Zambian Supreme Court said Zimbabwe’s reconstruction laws should not be used across the Zambezi as Zambia is a sovereign state with its own laws. The Standard