Gilbert Kamusasa’s Divcon Business Solutions, a Zimbabwean start-up specialising in software development, market research and product development is currently working with the pharmaceutical sectors of Zimbabwe and Zambia towards modernising the pharmaceutical industry in Africa through their innovation called MedFind.
The solution which will be launching soon in these first two countries will help patients and pharmacies to procure their prescription and non-prescription medicines with ease.
“MedFind is a web based virtual pharmaceutical platform that allows patients to procure medicines online from pharmacies of their choice. With four major pharmacy chains having already signed up in Zimbabwe, what the customer simply has to do is to sign up or create an account in order to get access to pharmacies of their choice.” Said Kamusasa
The MedFind innovation which was part of the Seed Stars Zimbabwe’s top 5 innovations for 2019 also won the ACT Entrepreneurship competition and was selected for the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship program where it also got funding.
Gilbert, an Accountant by profession who once worked at Deloitte encouraged job seekers to immediately follow the entrepreneurship route through coming up with solutions that address real needs or problems than to always wait for employment.
“My advice to young entrepreneurs is, start now! Money will eventually come if your idea addresses real customer needs/problems.” ….Currently entrepreneurship is the way to go if you have what it takes. Don’t wait for the right moment, start now!” he said
….”When we started Divcon, we didn’t have any money, we used to meet in food outlets for update meetings. We would walk around town on foot and sometimes empty stomachs doing market research for MedFind. Once we had proved our concept well, we approached a local doctor and he gave us our first funding, but it was after a lot of hard work.” added Gilbert
zwnews24.com’s Brian Kazungu had an interview with Gilbert in order to find out more about his business and his personal insights on a number of socio-economic issues.
zwnews24: Would you briefly describe yourself and the background, nature, and mandate of your business?
Divcon: My name is Gilbert Kamusasa, I am the CEO and co-founder of Divcon Business Solutions (www.divconsolutions.com). Divcon is a technology-based consultancy company that focuses on providing a wide range of solutions to businesses and individuals. We help businesses/individuals solve their day to day problems through a process called design thinking. During this process, we dig deep into the problem at hand through empathising with those facing that problem. After thoroughly understanding the problem, we then come up with a solution that best addresses that problem. The solution is prototyped, tested with the users and pivoted (if need be) until it adequately addresses the problem at hand.
zwnews24: What is the main motivation and major push for you to engage in the business that you are involved in?
Divcon: We love solving problems and we have the drive to make the world a better place through providing simple solutions that address even complex day to day problems faced by businesses or individuals.
zwnews24: What are the different products and services that you are offering? Would you describe what each of these products and services is all about and the intended benefit of each of these to your targeted and actual clients?
Divcon: Our main service as Divcon is problem-solving. We help businesses and individuals solve any problems with regards to business that they may have. We also provide basic consultancy services such as software/website development, company registry, tax registrations, market research and product development. We are currently working with the pharmaceutical sectors of Zimbabwe and Zambia to provide what we see as the best solution to modernise the pharmaceutical industry in Africa called MedFind. The solution will help patients and pharmacies procure their prescription and non-prescription medicines with ease. We will be launching the product soon in both countries.
zwnews24: How has the market responded to your products and services so far since inception and what can you attribute to such kind of response?
Divcon: The Zimbabwean market is a tough one for businesses trying to introduce new products/services into the market. Due to trust issues the market does not quickly accept new products and businesses. A lot of patience and time is required for a new business to be able to penetrate the market. The policy inconsistencies by government have made it worse. For example, some of our solutions for customers were developed based in USD and when the government banned the official use of the USD we had to change the whole business model to suit the new government requirements. However, it seems the economy is ‘re-dollarizing’ itself and we may have to readjust soon if the government chooses to dump the RTGS.
zwnews24: What is it that is unique about yourself, your team and your services, that sets you apart and which helps you to stand out among various service providers who are in the same category with you?
Divcon: Working hard and smart, and quickly adapting to situations has helped our business survive this harsh economic environment. I work with a team of smart, intelligent and hardworking ladies and gentlemen. We work as a team and we treat our work seriously. Our solutions address real problems being faced by businesses and people. We provide tailor made solutions be it software based or physical products and that’s what customers are looking for.
zwnews24: What do you believe and understand are the main advantages to your clients when they make use of your company products and services in addressing their needs and wants.
Divcon: The major advantage is we are a local company providing solutions that suit our environment. We don’t copy and paste solutions from first world countries. We spend more time understanding what our clients need and provide solutions that best suit their needs.
zwnews24: Do you have any background in this industry? If yes, how could this have helped you in identifying the business opportunities behind your entrepreneurial drive?
Divcon: I am an Accountant by profession and I worked with Deloitte (an audit firm) for 6 years. During that period, I got to understand various business models and operations though the audits that I conducted in a wide range of industries. Above all I am a TEF Alumni, YALI Alumni, Seed Stars Alumni and an ACT Alumni. All these some of the best entrepreneurship programs available in Africa and they have helped me attain more business knowledge. I am also a self-taught software engineer with experience in python, HTML, CSS, Django, Flask and Bootstrap. In our team we also have a Marketer, Chemical Engineer, 2 Software developers and another Accountant. This gives us a competitive advantage as a team because we have a wide range of skills that can offer better solutions to customers. All the above have also helped me in identifying viable business opportunities.
zwnews24: What can you look back at and say that so far, this has been your major achievements as an enterprise and what do you believe has greatly contributed towards such achievements?
Divcon: As a company we are still very young and we still have a long way to go. Our first main product is MedFind which won the ACT Entrepreneurship competition, was selected for the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship program and got funding and was also part of the Seed stars Zimbabwe top 5 innovations for 2019. We have also done some basic consultancy work for over 10 local start-ups, 1 big listed company and 1 local NGO. Hard work, innovation, as well as focus and discipline have helped us immensely thus far.
zwnews24: In a world where most people, especially the youth are failing to start and run their own enterprises because of lack of capital, how have you managed to launch and operate this initiative?
Divcon: I always argue that capital is not the problem, innovation and execution is. Where there is a good idea that has been tested and proved, capital can be sourced. Most young people want to raise money first then think of an idea or start implementing their idea but it is supposed to be the other way around. When we started Divcon, we didn’t have any money, we used to meet in food outlets for update meetings. We would walk around town on foot and sometimes empty stomachs doing market research for MedFind. Once we had proved our concept well, we approached a local doctor and he gave us our first funding, but it was after a lot of hard work. My advice to young entrepreneurs is, start now, money will eventually come if your idea addresses real customer needs/problems.
zwnews24: It is a fact that the current economic situation globally and even in your country is challenging. As such, what is it that has helped you as a business to continue operating under some difficult conditions that you have encountered?
Divcon: As a company that provides business solutions, it is actually our job to help other businesses to survive any challenges. One of the strategies that we always advise our customers is to have as many revenue streams as possible, and also, to do some work that can earn you foreign currency. You must also make sure that you have a solution or product that is scalable across the world. Businesses also have to keep up to date with the economic activities and adjust their business models as they go until the economy is stable.
zwnews24: What are and what has been some of the operational challenges that you have encountered so far in the pursuit of your entrepreneurship vision and how have you dribbled past them?
Divcon: The major challenge for us has been the economy and the inconsistency in government policy. We overcome these challenges by making adapting fast and making quick and precise decisions. We have also begun the process of setting shop in other African countries.
zwnews24: Based on your experience, what advice can you give to unemployed youths and many other job seekers concerning entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment for themselves and others?
Divcon: If you look at the current economic setup in Zimbabwe, it is 90% informal and that’s not a good thing for job seekers. It is going to take us 10 years or more to be able to build an economy with more than one hundred 1 billion-dollar companies that can employ at the scale of Econet or Delta. Currently entrepreneurship is the way to go if you have what it takes. Don’t wait for the right moment, start now!
zwnews24: What are the current challenges happening in your industry or country, which are affecting the viability of your business? In that regard, what are the strategies that you are putting in place for you to achieve your goals?
Divcon: To us, it goes back to the economy, policy inconsistency, lack of support from government for genuine upcoming entrepreneurs like some of us. Currently everything is polarised and politicised and that’s killing businesses in Zimbabwe. That is why we have begun looking at other African countries.
zwnews24: Where do you foresee your business in the future and what legacy, history or impact do you want your business to have in your community, country or across the world? Why do you have such convictions?
Divcon: We see ourselves making a huge impact in Zimbabwe, Africa and the world at large because we provide simple solutions that address real problems. We are happing to create employment and wealth to our employees as well.
zwnews24: How do clients and other stakeholders engage your business? How do they get in touch?
Divcon: Phone: 0715592622 / 07150071450 | email email@example.com | Website: www.divconsolutions.com | Office: 72 George Silundika Avenue Harare | Social Media: @divconsolutions – FB and @BusinessDivcon – Twitter
#. The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu: https://amzn.to/32hZSlb
SMM Workers ‘Offside’ on Asking Minister Chitando for the Removal of Gwaradzimba, Says Friends of SMM (FOSMM) Secretary General, Tapuwa Chitambo
Brian Kazungu, 23/04/2021
In an article published by the Herald on 22 April 2021 under the title ‘SMM workers want Gwaradzimba out, Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) were said to have applied for the removal of Gwaradzimba as Administrator of SMM.
It was also reported that they had done this through invoking Section 5(2) of the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act (Reconstruction Act) which reads as follows:
Section 5(2) of the Act reads as follows: “The appropriate Minister, after consultation with the administrator, may at any time and in any manner, on the application of a creditor, a member of the company, the Master or any person who would have been entitled to petition for the winding-up or apply for the judicial management of the company concerned, vary the terms of a reconstruction order or cancel it by further notice published in the Gazette.”
However, Mr Tapuwa Chitambo, the Secretary General of Friends of SMM (FOSMM) highlighted that some conflicting issues around the status of SMM makes it strange for workers to seek help from the Mines Ministry.
“I find it strange that representatives of ZDAMWU would seek refuge from the Minister of Mines by seeking a remedy that is not specifically provided for in terms of the Reconstruction Act before establishing the status of SMM. Is SMM, a company as defined in the Companies Act or it is a creature that defies any legal persona?
Minister of Mines, Winston Chitando, and Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube, are on record having asserted that SMM is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, as also confirmed by Gwaradzimba in a meeting with ZDAMWU representatives in March 2021.
Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, in his maiden budget included SMM on his list of companies to be privatized.
In clarifying his standpoint, Chitambo revealed that as Friends of SMM (FOSMM), they had made their own investigations and established the following facts:
1. Following the commencement of the reconstruction of SMM on 6 September 2004, Gwaradzimba’s first act was to dismiss the company’s board of directors.
2. In December 2005, the Reconstruction Order that was issued by Chinamasa without any judicial involvement was confirmed by Justice Kamocha on an ex-parte basis.
3. The records kept at the Registrar of Companies in Bulawayo show that on 12 November 2009, in terms of the CR2 form filed and signed by Gwaradzimba, shares were alloted to two companies Nickdale Investments Private Limited (Nickdale) that was issued 76% of the shares in the company with the balance of 24% being held by a company called SMM Holdings Limited (UK) whose address strangely was Gwaradzimba’s.
4. It follows that SMM could only be registered in the Records kept by the Registrar if it met the test of being a company and this precludes the involvement of the Minister of Mines in the affairs of the company.
5. A company necessarily is a creature of law and as such the Reconstruction Act creates no company but was part of a scheme to defeat the ends of justice.
Based on their findings, Chitambo added that in making an application to the Mines Minister, it is either ZDAMWU representatives know something that is not in the public domain or they just want to expose the fraud that has been a constant characteristic in the SMM saga.
He also stated that an admission by Gwaradzimba that his mandate was terminated, would follow that the application by ZDAMWU is ill-advised and should have been preceded by an application asking ZMDC to confirm its relationship with Nickdale.
Nickdale holds the majority of the shares issued by SMM, a development which makes the Minister of Mines to cease to have any legal nexus with SMM from the day shares were issued to the new shareholders.
This paper has established that a resolution was passed on 1 September 2011, ordering Gwaradzimba to hand over the Nickdale share certificates to former Minister of Mines, Dr Obert Mpofu, by the ZMDC board.
The shares were then handed over as ordered leading to Minister Chitando informing Parliament that SMM was a subsidiary of ZMDC based on the fact that the shares in Nickdale that were held by the RBZ were now held by ZMDC.
Chitambo concurred with ZDAMWU that Gwaradzimba continues to hold the Administrator’s office illegally since he relinquished this position to the ZMDC board chaired by Mr Ndlovu and thus also meaning that his purported ‘resurrection’ was unlawful and of no force and effect.
“Based on the above, it is bizarre that ZDAMWU would seek protection from a law that is no longer applicable in relation to SMM by asking the Minister of Mines to immediately replace Gwaradzimba with their nominee, Mr Taurai Changwa, when they are neither directors nor shareholders of SMM.” He said.
Mr. Frederick Kyle, a lawyer who has represented a number of companies and individuals including Mutumwa Mawere in litigations also commented on the matter.
“Mr. Gwaradzimba under oath has deposed to various affidavits asserting that SMM is a company still under his control and management yet in March 2021, he informed representatives of ZDAMWU that he was relieved of his duties in relation to SMM by Hon Mpofu.
He claimed that notwithstanding the fact that the shareholding of SMM had been altered and a new board appointed as required in terms of the Reconstruction Act, the reconstruction order needed to be cancelled in terms of s35 of the Reconstruction Act.
Mr. Chinhema on behalf of ZDAMWU said Gwaradzimba had intimated that Obert Mpofu (former Mines Minister) was responsible for the appointment of the board and new chief executive.
He, however, advised the workers’ union that he was re-appointed informally without any legal instrument providing for this clandestine appointment.
Pursuant to the operation of the ZMDC resolution, Mr Gwaradzimba was relegated to only deal with litigation brought against SMM by Mr Mawere.
However, it is not clear who Mr. Gwaradzimba reported to and still reports to since the handover of the control and management of SMM. Does the Minister of Justice continue to exercise jurisdiction in relation to a reconstructed company?
Assuming the control and management of SMM was not transferred to the restructured board that could only have been appointed by the company’s shareholders, then the records of SMM cannot be kept by the Registrar of Companies.
This begs the question as to whether the control of a company can be vested in anyone who is not its directors…. It is also curious how Gwaradzimba implemented a scheme of reconstruction without the knowledge of SMM’s previous shareholders.
Representatives of ZDAMWU have taken the approach that Gwaradzimba’s relationship with the company was not terminated as a consequence of the changed legal status of SMM from a company under reconstruction to a reconstructed company.
Ms. Janice Greaver, a member of the C2C-BOAF Corporate Literacy Initiative, said: “This matter exposes the pervasive illiteracy in our communities.
ZDAMWU members clearly believe that they now hold the position of some proxy shareholders of SMM on account of accrued wages and salaries incurred after reconstruction.
A company to me is a creature of law. It must have director to act in its name and not a Minister. This is absurd.”
Disgruntled SMM Workers Who Are Owed About US$36 Million Want ‘Incompetent’ Administrator Gwaradzimba to Be Given a Red Card
Brian Kazungu, 20/04/2021
Disgruntled workers from SMM Holdings (Pvt) Ltd who are claiming US$19 million in outstanding salaries from January 2012 to November 2017 and about US$17 million from December 2017 to date have called for the SMM Administrator to be given a red card.
The accrued dues are said to have been incurred during Gwaradzimba’s tenure wherein as SMM Administrator in terms of the Reconstruction Act, he was supposed to firstly dismiss the company’s board of directors in order for him to be vested with sole control and management of the company.
Mr. Gwaradzimba who assumed office on 6 September 2004 and was officially appointed on 14 September 2004 to be the SMM Administrator, was controversially awarded the contract without being subjected to any competition.
SMM was placed under extra-judicial reconstruction which divested and deprived shareholders and directors of the control and management of the company pursuant to an order issued by the then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa.
According to information seen by this publication, SMM workers, through the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mineral Workers Union have thus far sought the help of lawyers in their endeavour to have Gwaradzimba removed from the position of Administrator.
In their application which was filed with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the 13th of April this year, the union said that the Reconstruction exercise which brought about Gwaradzimba “has yielded no fruit whatsoever over the past two decades”.
They further added that the company is not benefiting anything from Gwaradzimba’s appointment as ‘apparently’ evidenced by the lack of ‘commercial production’ at the mines.
In a sworn affidavit, as a workers representative, Mr Justice Chinhema, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union narrated the poor conditions that SMM employees have been subjected to, including lack of income and poor access to health facilities.
He said that their call for Gwaradzimba to be shown the red card stems from the plight of workers who are owed millions of United States dollars in arrear salaries and also highlighted that the same workers are exposed to terrible suffering because of evictions from their houses.
“The second respondent (SMM), under the administration of the first respondent (Gwaradzimba), has failed, neglected or refused to settle salary arrears in excess of over US$19 260 667.99 owed to current workers since January 2012 to November 2017. Salary arrears from December 2017 to date are yet to be computed.
991 ex-employees are owed US$17 676 537.50…..” Chinhema narrated.
According to details in the workers’ application to the Mines Minister, other creditors owed substantial amounts include regulatory authorities, the Mining Industry Pension Fund, NSSA and ZIMRA who collectively have an amount due totalling over US$6 million.
On behalf of SMM employees, Chinhema also argues that Gwaradzimba’s continued reign is unlawful following the transfer of the Ministerial supervision of the Administrator from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Mines as directed by late former President Mugabe.
“Pursuant to that restructuring, the 1st respondent (Gwaradzimba) informed us that the administration and management of the 2nd respondent (SMM) was effectively transferred to a Board of Directors under the Zimbabwe Mining and Development Company (ZMDC) and headed by one Mr Ndlovu.
The 1st respondent (Gwaradzimba) intimated that Honourable Obert Mpofu was responsible for the appointment of the board and the new Chief Executive Officer. The 1st respondent (Gwaradzimba) admitted at that stage that his mandate was terminated.” Chinhema said.
Chinhema clarified that Ministerial oversight on SMM was transferred by the late President Mugabe to Mpofu when shares that were allotted by Gwaradzimba to a company owned by the RBZ, Nickdale Investments Private Limited, were transferred to the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).
The shareholding scheme which was purportedly approved by shareholders and creditors is said to have been merely a gathering of people who were handpicked by Gwaradzimba who ‘fraudulently’ represented SMMH, a UK based company without its knowledge and consent.
Pursuant to this share transfer, SMM’s control and management was vested in ZMDC as a shareholder of Nickdale, leaving Gwaradzimba with no control except to handle SMM litigation matters.”
However, while commenting on the workers’ resolve to remove Mr. Gwaradzimba from his position following an application submitted to Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Mr. Mulaudzi of AG Mulaudzi Attorneys highlighted a number of challenges associated with the approach adopted.
“There is no provision for the removal of the administrator once appointed by the Minister. Even the Court has no jurisdiction to remove let alone cancel or vary the Ministerial order.
It would be interesting to see whether the section relied upon to impeach Gwaradzimba will come to the rescue of the union.
This Act was carefully crafted to prevent any aggrieved party from having any recourse either to remove the Administrator or vary the order without the involvement of the Administrator who has to be consulted by the Minister before any variation can take place.
While the workers accuse Gwaradzimba of incompetence and gross failure, the legal status of SMM is yet to be established and the Minister is yet to find any fault with the Administrator.
Despite the transfer of oversight, Chinhema revealed that Gwardzimba was surprisingly once again ‘informally’ tasked with administrative duties after the ZMDC Board squandered a US$16 million dollar capital injection which was splashed on purchasing of motor vehicles and salaries.
“His (Gwaradzimba) re-appointment was not in terms of the law but owing to the failure to follow the stipulated procedures in the Act, he assumed a de facto role as the administrator of the 2nd respondent (SMM).
He has continued to hold this office illegally as he had, by conduct and by fact, relinquished this position to the ZMDC board as chaired by Mr Ndlovu.” Chinhema appealed.
SMM, the once vibrant mining empire in Zimbabwe was controversially placed under the control and direction of a State appointed Administrator based on allegations that it was financially troubled and that its shareholders had externalised money and were acting with imprudence.
However, the RBZ and investigators who were tasked to do a fact finding work on the company dismissed these allegations and advised against placing SMM shareholders under specification and warned against the continued subjection of the company under the Reconstruction Act.
Regardless of the controversies surrounding the SMM Administrator’s appointment, the then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa was adamant that his choice in Gwaradzimba was for the good of all the stakeholders.
When he was interrogated by legislators such as Job Sikhala and Mr Madzimure in a Parliamentary Debate on the 20th of July 2005 under the motion “Economic Challenges Facing Zimbabwe”, Chinamasa said “the government had to intervene because workers had spent 3 months without pay”.
Sikhala also warned against constitutional breaches that were inherent in the Reconstruction Act and queried the special interest that was being shown in the company by the Government Executive who were disregarding the rule of law in handling the matter.
Chinamasa then defended Gwaradzimba’s appointment by saying “So the government had to intervene in the national interest in order to rescue the company in order to ensure that the company continues to be a leading foreign exchange earner in our country.”
However, interestingly, the situation at SMM has seriously worsened in almost two decades and yet the same Administrator who was brought in as a saviour is still in charge of the sinking ship thus raising eyebrows on the real motivations which were behind the unceremonious ‘company grab’ by the government.
SMM’s Administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimba Struggles to Provide Answers on Mawere’s Mount Pleasant House after 17 Years of Being in Charge
Brian Kazungu, 28/03/2021
Afaras Gwaradzimba, the State appointed Administrator for Zimbabwe’s Shabani Mashava Mines (SMM) which was placed under Reconstruction in 2004 is struggling to provide answers on the status of a house in Mount Pleasant, Harare which belongs to Mutumwa Mawere.
When asked about an update, after 17 years of being in charge of the house which was earning rentals from tenants, Gwaradzimba expressed ignorance on how under his authority, SMM was collecting rentals on a private property belonging to someone else.
He confirmed that even though SMM did not have the house’s title deeds, the company was actually receiving rentals for the property and paying the related rates.
In an effort to treat this potentially criminal case with a civil approach and make good the anomaly, Gwaradzimba made instructions to the effect that a Trust Account be created so that money can be properly accounted for.
“I am advised by Mr. Mutumwa Mawere himself that he holds the title deeds for the Mt. Pleasant house, and the Deeds are in his name. I will ask him to send me a copy of the deeds.
I there kind (sic) ask that you create a Trust Account under SMM, transfer all the rentals that have been received from the lease of the house, into that Trust Account and then charge against the account, all expenses paid by SMM in respect of the house, including management fees payable in accordance with the Estate Agents Act.” Gwaradzimba instructed SMM Management
He could however not explain how the current arrangement came to be and referred further correspondence to the Dube, Manikai and Hwacha (DMH) law firm which is the company’s legal representative.
Mawere who bought the house when he was still in the United States of America said that he never made an arrangement with SMM to manage his personal property since there was a tenant paying rent subject to management by an estate agent.
He questioned how the property ended up being managed by SMM under Gwaradzimba’s authority and yet state power was only limited to the affairs of the company and not to the private property of the owner.
“SMM was my company. Mnangagwa/Chinamasa, using Gwaradzimba/Manikai used state power to introduce a decree that had the effect of divesting and depriving the shareholders and directors of the company of the right to control and direct the company.
The control and management was then vested with Gwaradzimba. Prior to this, I had a relationship with the company and after this, by law, I ceased to have any relationship with the company.” Mawere said
According to the law, as per the reconstruction of SMM, state power was limited to the affairs of the company and not to the private property of the owner.
The reconstruction of SMM came after Mawere was allegedly accused of foreign currency externalisation which was however proved to be lacking substance according to a report on the findings of the investigation.
In the report, it was stated that “Following extensive and exhaustive investigations, it was established that the allegations of externalisation against Mr. Mawere were unfounded and baseless. It was also established that Mr. Mawere was neither a director nor shareholder of SMM. There was no direct legal and factual nexus between him and the company.”
Mawere was then specified after a failed attempt by the government of Zimbabwe to extradite him from South Africa and his company was subsequently placed under reconstruction.
According to the same report, the purpose of the specification was to further investigations on the activities of Mawere’s business empire.
The report also reveals that Gwaradzimba and Manikai who is part of the law that has been tasked with the issue, both had a previous relationship with SMM before the specification and reconstruction of this entity that had asbestos mining interests in Zvishavane and Mashaba.
It states that “Mr. Gwaradzimba was the auditor of SMM during 1996 through 2001. Mr. Manikai was the legal advisor of SMM and ARL from 1996 through 2004. Notwithstanding, Mr. Gwaradzimba was appointed Administrator of a company that he once audited.
Mr. Manikai is now acting against his former client. This raises serious legal and ethical questions that need to be addressed at the appropriate time. However, it is the considered opinion of the Investigators that the appointment of Gwaradzimba and Manikai was ill considered and, therefore, inappropriate.”
Various political and economic experts have reiterated that the issue of the rule of law and property rights posed a serious challenge on the economy especially when it comes to attracting both local and international investors into the country’s ailing economy.
Zimbabwe’s economy is currently mired in serious challenges characterised by lack of employment, poor infrastructure, industrial closures and rampant corruption across the sectors.
In separate investigations and findings, while still being the Governor of Zimbabwe’s Central Bank, Dr Gideon Gono castigated the procedural anomalies adopted in handling the SMM matter and cautioned of Gwaradzimba’s probable selfish personal interests in the whole saga.
Gono pleaded with President Mugabe to respect the rule of law for the economy’ sake and for the good image of the country by recommending the de-specification of Mawere and for the return of his companies and assets back to him.
“Though there is reference to the Fifth Table of the Seventh Schedule of the Companies Act, which sets the payment levels for liquidators and administrators, the fact still remains that Mr
Gwaradzimba, the Administrator is getting payments set at 6% of gross proceeds, of all
SMM companies which is even more lucrative than shareholders themselves, let alone revenues to Government.
Your Excellency, there is genuine need for the relevant sections of the
Companies Act to be modified. The Administrator’s activities also seem to have entrenched interests of needlessly permanently dispossessing all Mr Mawere of his assets.
…….It is also recommended that Your Excellency approve the de-specification of Mr Mawere and his companies so as to pave way for a new beginning, particularly in the context of investment promotion and empowerment in Zimbabwe.” Wrote Dr Gono.
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