Zimbabwe's parliamentary committee on mines has accused Shabanie Mashaba Mines curator Arafas Gwaradzimba of improperly investing US$2 million in the United Kingdom while the asbestos concern was collapsing.
Committee member Heya Shoko, legislator for Bikita West, Masvingo province, said Gwaradzimba, assigned to run the company after owner Mutumwa Mawere was accused of illegally moving foreign currency offshore in 2004, appeared to have made foreign investments using company funds without state approval.
Shoko said Gwaradzimba pleaded with the committee to let him keep running the company though it was clear the operation has suffered under his management.
The legislator told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that Gwaradzimba should resign as he has not even looked for an investor to bolster the finances of the troubled company. “Gwaradzimba is supposed to go back to whoever appointed him and tell him that he has failed to perform his duties,” said Shoko.
The committee heard that the Cabinet ordered the curator to seek only Chinese investors to recapitalize the firm. Gwardzimba's search was in vain as no Chinese companies were interested in investing in the company.
Shabanie Mashaba Mines owes 3,000 workers about US$10 million in overdue wages. Most of the mines have closed due to a lack of operating funds and equipment worth billions is underwater in flooded mine shafts.