BY BLESSED MHLANGA
FORMER Mbizo legislator Vongaishe Mupereri (Zanu PF) who was last year slapped with a contempt court charge after leading illegal gold panners into gold-rich Gaika Mine in Kwekwe in violation of a High Court ruling is now battling to have the order set aside.
Through his lawyer Valentine Mutatu, Mupereri, who faces imprisonment or a fine of US$7 000, following the order issued by Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, says he was unaware of the court proceedings which led to the order being issued.
“I allege an error on the part of Justice Moyo granting the contempt of court order which I seek to be vacated by this honourable court, … I am advised by my legal practitioner of record which advice I accept, that the application of contempt of court was fatally defective for want of compliance with mandatory provisions of this honourable court in that first respondent (DGL Investments, owners of the mine) adopted an incorrect form and procedure and obtained an order of contempt of court without personal service for such application on me,” Mupereri submitted in his application.
The order was granted last year by consent of Mupereri’s lawyer James Magodora, who the former legislator now says acted without instructions from him and, therefore, now disowns the lawyer’s actions.
“Without my consent and unbeknown to me and without having been personally served with court papers … DGL Investments with the consent of my erstwhile legal practitioner Mr Magodora, allegedly acting on my behalf proceeded to get the provisional order of May 4 confirmed. I aver that I was not aware of the proceedings of July 19, 2018 and I aver that Mr Magodora did not have any instructions from me written or otherwise from me to enter a consent order which had the effect of declaring me in contempt of court,” he said.
Armed police and the army had to move into Gaika Mine to enforce a court order stopping all alleged illegal gold mining activities led by Mupereri at the mine.