High Court blocks gold mine grab 

Source: High Court blocks gold mine grab – The Zimbabwe Independent March 9, 2018

THE High Court has ordered the Ministry of Mines to stop granting mining rights to a Zanu PF legislator for Mbizo Vongaishe Mupereri after he violently attempted to seize a Kwekwe-based gold mining company from its owner.

Justice Nicholas Mathonsi also ordered the police to conduct investigations at Gaika Mine, which was at the centre of the dispute. This came after Carel Hendrick Meyer, the manager at Gaika Mine, approached the courts seeking an interdict on the illegal activities that violated property rights. The foiled violent takeover of the mine resulted in the death of a passer-by. Meyer in his affidavit averred that during the late afternoon of March 2, 2018, a violent altercation broke out between unlawful occupiers of the Gaika pit.

The result of this violence, he said, resulted in a number of people being hospitalised. “There is a further report that someone may have died as well, but I am unable to verify that independently,” Meyer said. “On the afternoon of Sunday March 4, 2018, a passer-by near the Gaika pit, was struck on the head by a rock that flew out of the pit following a blast. He was apparently visiting his wife near the pit when the tragedy occurred. The passer-by has died as a result of the injuries he sustained. His name was Themba Moyo or Dube,” Meyer averred.

“Further, it is our understanding that the illegal miners are made up of several competing gold syndicates in the Kwekwe region and such violence is a regular occurrence.”

Meyer, through his lawyers, said he had no recourse at law as presently the law enforcement agency, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, had refused to protect him. This case brings to the spotlight the country’s commitment to the rule of law and property rights. The violent seizure of mines is also understood to have the blessings of politicians in the Midlands province.

The High Court then ordered the occupiers of the mine to immediately vacate.

“First Respondent (Vongaishe Mupereri — Mbizvo MP) be and is hereby ordered not to interfere in any way with operations of Gaika Mine, Kwekwe or any part thereof, forthwith secure removal of any and all unlawful occupiers of any part of Gaika Mine, the High Court Order in part said.

“Second Respondent (Commissioner-General Zimbabwe Republic Police Godwin Matanga) be and hereby ordered to thoroughly and contentiously investigate whether any crime has been committed by any person in connection with the events relating to Gaika Mine from February 23, 2018 to the date of this order and if there is prima facie proof of criminal conduct on the part of any person, to prosecute that person,” states the interdict. — Staff Writer.