Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere has allegedly been arrested in South Africa in yet unclear circumstances.
While efforts to secure comment from the troubled tycoon – through calls to his mobile – were unsuccessful, reports from Johannesburg indicate that the 53-year-old businessman was picked for alleged fraud and tax issues with South African Revenue Services.
As the ex-Shabanie Mashaba Mines (SMM) owner’s family and friends were scrounging around for R500 000 in bail money, sources said Mawere “had been grassed to South African authorities” by an ex-business partner of Indian descent after a bitter wrangle.
Having been deposed of his business empire by President Robert Mugabe’s government in 2004, the Western-educated entrepreneur has turned into a fierce critic of the Zanu-PF leader’s policies through newspaper columnists and other forms of protest.
A pioneer of the self and black economic empowerment process, Mawere has been quite critical of the 89 year-old’s controversial indigenisation programme based on equity seizures and such other strategies which have impaired value, and jobs.
His latest legal troubles and brush with the law become the second in as many years after his 2009 arrest at the behest, and instigation of the Zimbabwean government.
In that episode, the ex-International Finance Corporation senior staffer was bailed out – for R50 000 – by the Randburg magistrate court after an arrest in Johannesburg, in a case that has virtually dissipated.
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