HARARE – Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere (pictured left) has approached the Constitutional Court seeking to regain control of his companies that were placed under judicial management after fraud allegations were raised against him.
In the application, SMM Holdings Limited, THZ Holdings Limited and Africa Resources Limited are cited as applicants, while Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister was cited as the respondent.
Mawere is seeking the court to declare sections of the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act to be inconsistent with the supremacy and founding values and principles of the Constitution.
“It is not in dispute, therefore, that SMM was placed under the control of a state-appointed administrator prior to the provisions of Section 8 of the Reconstruction Act that only came into force on 4 March 2005 when the Reconstruction of the State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act (the Reconstruction Act) was enacted into law,” Mawere argues.
The businessman, who is represented by Benjamin Chikowero, said: “It is further submitted that the retrospective application of the Reconstruction legislation conflicts with two key Zimbabwean constitutional principles, being the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers.”
He said facts in this matter showed there was no involvement of the legislature and the judiciary at the material time and that proper procedures were not followed.
“The Reconstruction Act violates Section 69 and 71 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits the State to expropriate property without notice, payment of compensation or judicial oversight and also denies persons subject to it access to courts,” Mawere said. He said there was no causal link between the alleged state-indebtedness of SMM and its associated companies and the allegations of fraud against him.
“The rationale behind the Reconstruction measures and Act was that due to the alleged fraud, SMM found itself under a dire financial situation necessitating the state to intervene using Presidential emergency powers,” Mawere said.