GOVERNMENT has revoked the specification of businessmen Mutumwa Mawere, John Moxon and James Makamba.Home Affairs co-ministers Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo Mohadi signed the order revoking the specifications of the three men on May 19.
Makamba and Moxon were specified under the Prevention of Corruption Act following accusations of externalising foreign currency, while Mawere was accused of defrauding government.
The despecification paves the way for Mawere and Makamba, who left the country in 2004, to reclaim their companies. Mawere used to own Mashaba Mines, Schweppes, Steelnet, Turnall and General Belting Holdings and First Bank while Makamba owned mobile telecoms firm Telecel.
Mawere resides in South Africa while Makamba is in Britain.
Moxon, whose companies recorded loses after his specification, is now based in South Africa.
Meikles Africa Ltd yesterday told the Zimbabwe Independent that Moxon’s specification had resulted in the group recording a loss for the financial year ending December 31 2009.
“During the time of the specifications investor confidence plunged and would-be investors adopted a wait-and-see approach to the Meikles investment story,” Meikles Ltd Group chief executive officer Brendan Beaumont said.
“This perception impacted upon the group’s ability to borrow and negotiate favourable terms with suppliers and sub-optimal stocking levels, culminating in operating losses. Having said that, all indications are that Meikles will return to profitability during 2010,” he said.
Mawere incurred nearly US$1million in legal battles with government when he took the case to South Africa and Britain to win his companies back. He has never stopped campaigning to expose how his business empire “has been systematically destroyed and sold off by the Zimbabwean government”.
Mawere, who owned a chain of companies in mining, finance and agriculture, last year unsuccessfully engaged President Robert Mugabe to get his companies back.
Mugabe and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono wanted Mawere to get back his companies but were blocked by ministers led by Patrick Chinamasa.
He also engaged former Zambian and South African presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Thabo Mbeki respectively to negotiate with the Zimbabwe government for the return of his seized companies during the same period without success.
The Zimbabwean government spent about £1,3 million to pay top class UK lawyers in to defend their decision to seize Mawere’s companies.
Mawere also claimed the government spent £150 000 on first class airfares and five-star accommodation for its representatives who attended the UK courts.
These included government-appointed administrator Afaras Gwaradzimba and commercial lawyer Edwin Manikai, among others.