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Minister sucked into mine wrangle

A Bulawayo mining syndicate, Easy Cash, has sued Mines minister Walter Chidakwa, Carry Mine Complex and police over the invasion of its gold claim in Matabeleland North province.


Mines minister Walter Chidakwa

Mines minister Walter Chidakwa

Easy Cash, in its urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court, cited Carry Mine Complex (Pvt) Limited, Matabeleland North provincial mines director, the police minerals and border control co-ordinator and Chidakwa, as respondents.

The syndicate claimed Carry Mine was interfering with its activities, while government officials and police were reluctant to intervene in the wrangle.

The syndicate’s representative, Wellington Nyoni, said they were seeking an interdict suspending Carry Mine activities in the disputed area.

“On March 5, 2015 applicant had a special grant issued in its favour by the fourth respondent (minister),” Nyoni said in an affidavit filed at the High Court.

“The mining rights were over area number 1090 in the mining district of Matabeleland North. Applicant has been mining on the said area since issuance of the special grant in its favour without disturbances from first respondent (Carry Mine). In 2016 applicant made an application for renewal of the special grant 5968. After obtaining the mining director’s recommendation and instruction to pay the required fees for renewal, applicant paid the fees of $1 000.

“On April 7, 2017 applicant’s employees were approached by first respondent’s employees, who challenged applicant’s presence and mining activities on the area. On April 8, third respondent, (police) sent officers to applicant’s mining site with a letter from second respondent (provincial mining director).”

Nyoni said Carry Mine workers also took away their gold ore and chased the latter’s workers from the site.

Police later intervened and ordered the two firms to stop operations pending finalisation of the issue, but Nyoni claimed that Carry Mine defied the directive and continued mining.

The respondents are yet to file opposing papers.

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