THREE mining firms — A & L Mining Syndicate, Ticharwa Murehwa and Mujere Mining Syndicate — are at each other’s throat over gold mining claims in Odzi, Manicaland, in a development that affects production.
The ownership wrangle has already spilled into the High Court, but a judgment passed by Justice Davison Foroma, indicating that the three miners would revert to their original claims, is not being respected.
Documents seen by The Herald Business show that A & L Mining Syndicate, previously a joint venture involving Aaron Zhanje and Lovemore Marange, then owned a mining claim that was 10 hectares big.
A & L Mining Syndicate was pegged in 2005. Mr Ticharwa Murehwa’s claim was 2,5ha while Kingstone Mudonhi of Mujere Mining Syndicate owned a 10ha mining claim.
However, in 2014 Mr Mudonhi raised a boundary dispute against Mr Murehwa. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in Manicaland stepped in and a determination was made in favour of Mr Murehwa.
In 2016, Mr Murehwa’s mine started producing large of quantities of gold resulting in the mine winning a small-scale gold producer award.
But in 2017, one Aaron Zhanje claimed to have been sent by former First Lady Grace Mugabe to get the farm so that it would be allocated to youths.
Mr Zhanje is said to have raised a complaint of encroachment onto his mine, A & L Mining Syndicate.
This allegedly resulted in the Mines Ministry to nullify its earlier decision that said all the miners should respect the earlier demarcations, and increased the size of Mr Zhanje’s claim to 15ha, in violation of a standing regulation that gold blocks should not go beyond 10ha.
Due to the extension of Mr Zhanje’s claim, Mr Murehwa has since been kicked out of his earlier claim to pave way for A & L Mining Syndicate.
Mr Murehwa now holds 2,5ha in an area that has not been prospected while Mr Mudonhi has been left with 2,7ha, with all the productive area handed over to A & L Mining Syndicate.
The chopping of mining claims happened during the time when Professor Francis Gudyanga was Permanent Secretary in the Mines Ministry.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Mr Mudonhi confirmed that there is a dispute and they have tried to engage some officials cited by Mr Zhanje as being behind the grabbing of claims without success.
“In 2014, there was a dispute between the three of us. The Ministry of Mines came and resolved the dispute and said everyone should show their beacons and we did that.
“In 2016 when I had gone 60 metres deep, someone called Admire Mahachi came and said pane mwana ndipo pana amai but when we tried to verify his claims, we established he was lying about the people he claimed to be fronting and we refused to give him gold claims.
“We were once arrested on allegations that we were harbouring then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son and at some point they said we were harbouring soldiers at the mine,” said Mr Mudonhi.
Mr Mudonhi said all that was false. Messrs Murehwa and Mahachi could not be reached for comment last night.