, lawyers representing Shabanie Mashaba Mines Holdings (SMMH) (Pvt) Ltd’s sole shareholder yesterday wrote to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Lovemore Moyo, objecting to the appointment of Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa to be part of the Parliamentary Priviledges Committee to investigate SMM administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimba.
Gwaradzimba is to appear before the Privileges Committee on a contempt of Parliament charge after he allegedly undermined the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy through utterances in the media.
The attorneys argue in their letter dated December 5, that Mnangagwa’s appointment was not proper as he had an interest in the matters.
Mnangagwa was appointed into the committee a fortnight ago together with Jessie Majome, Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development deputy minister, Shepherd Mushonga the chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Gwanda Central MP Patrick Dube and Chivi Central MP Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana.
“We wish to register our client’s concern and objection to the appointment of Mnangagwa as a member of the committee given his historical involvement in the SMM matter,” wrote Kyle Attorneys.
“It is clear from a letter dated June 2 2009 addressed to Gwaradzimba from Patrick Chinamasa (Justice and Legal Affairs minister) that Mnangagwa has an interest and has been involved in the affairs of SMM, and, therefore, we submit that it is in the interest of transparency and objectivity that he should be removed from any investigations into the affairs of SMM,” the attorneys said.
Recent reports by the Zimbabwe Independent also revealed Mnangagwa was against the return of SMM assets to their legitimate owners.
Businessman Mutumwa Mawere owned the asbestos mines before the government wrested them from him using the Reconstruction Act.
“President Robert Mugabe, Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Mawere, are inclined towards the return of SMM assets to their legitimate owners to close the matter, while Chinamasa, Gwaradzimba and Mnangagwa are pulling in the opposite direction.
This has created a conflict with running heated exchanges over the issue,” the Zimbabwe Independent wrote.
Other evidence to show Mnangagwa’s interest in SMM issues were exchanges of letters between Chinamasa and Gwaradzimba, where the two appraised each other on the outcomes of a meeting on June 2 2009 between President Mugabe, Mnangagwa, Gono and Chinamasa pertaining to the reconstruction of SMM.
The attorneys asked Moyo to set aside the appointment of Mnangagwa into the Privileges Committee.