Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere who returned to the country this week to reclaim property seized by the government in 2004, has been engaging state officials in an effort to start running his business empire - but sources said Thursday that early indications are that Mawere faces a court battle to regain control.
Sources informed on the matter said Mawere has held talks with Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, Co-Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi and senior officials in the Ministry of Justice.
The sources said officials in the Ministry of Justice were reluctant to discuss how charges brought against Mawere under the Reconstruction of State-Indebted and Insolvent Companies Act might be dropped.
Zimbabwe withdrew the specification of Mawere along those of Telecel Zimbabwe executive James Makamba and John Moxon of Kingdom Meikles Limited following the submission of a report to the co-ministers of Home Affairs by the police over allegations that the three illegally transferred foreign currency into offshore accounts.
His businesses - Shabanie-Mashaba Mines, Zimbabwe Re-Insurance Company, CFI Holdings, General Beltings, Turnall Zimbabwe, Nicoz Diamond Insurance, FSI Agricom, Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited and Midsec Security - are still being run by a state-appointed curator and held under the Reconstruction Act.
Though Mawere and government officials were not available for comment, indications were that he will end up taking his case to the courts. Corporate law expert Mashobana Ncube told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that as Mawere was despecified this year, he is entitled to reclaim his former assets.