Ex-minister Kuruneri locks horns with ‘illegal’ miners

Source: Ex-minister Kuruneri locks horns with ‘illegal’ miners | The Herald  May 23, 2017

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter-
Former Finance Minister Cde Christopher Kuruneri has dragged a mining
company operating on his farm to court seeking an eviction order. Cde
Kuruneri has approached the High Court after his bid to evict
Chida-Desmond (Pvt) Ltd from his Ascotvale Farm in Mazowe on the strength
of an order he obtained in April last year against the firm’s workers –
Sipho Mlalazi, Arnold Chidawanyika and Alice Mufandaedza – hit a brick

Chida-Desmond lawyers Zvimba and Madzima Law Chambers had written to the
Sheriff indicating that the firm was not part of the court order, which
Cde Kuruneri sought to evict.

The development prompted Cde Kuruneri, who is also Mt Darwin legislator,
to scurry back to the High Court now seeking to evict the company, which
had been operating on his farm since 1988.

In his application filed at the High Court this month, Cde Kuruneri wants
the company and all those claiming occupation through it to vacate the

He argues that the firm has no right to mine gold on his farm without his

“Without the consent of the land owner as is required by Sections 78 and
25 of the Mines and Minerals Act, the respondent’s business is illegal on
my farm,” he argues.

“The respondent is being unjustly enriched by mining illegally on my farm,
thereby prejudicing me.”

But Ms Rumbidzayi Zvimba, who is acting for Chida-Desmond, is opposing the

She argues that the procedure chosen by Cde Kuruneri to evict her client
by way of an application was fatally defective.

The issue at the centre of the dispute, Ms Zvimba avers, was dispute of
fact, which required the court to hear evidence from both parties.

She also argues that Cde Kuruneri has no legal basis to apply for the
eviction of her client from the farm.

“In terms of Section 58 as read with Section 50 of the (Mines and Mining)
Act, the commissioner is the only person with competence to challenge
legality of a certificate of registration that has been in existence for
more than two years.

“It is pretty unfortunate that the applicant is failing to appreciate the
Act and that the respondent has been a holder of the certificate of
registration and mining claims on the farm for nearly 30 years and
challenging same through a court application is gross misdirection on a
point of law.”

In April last year, the High Court ordered the eviction of Mlalazi,
Chidawanyika and Mufandaedza, who were operating a stamp mill on Cde
Kuruneri’s farm.

Cde Kuruneri sought the order against the three in their personal