Zanu mine grabbers ordered out

The Supreme Court has thrown out an appeal made by two Zanu (PF) sympathizers to reverse an earlier decision by the High Court to force them off a lucrative gold mine they grabbed from an Australian last year.

Earlier this year, Bulawayo High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha gave a ruling compelling Buhera North Zanu (PF) MP William Mutomba and his Gweru-based associate, Smelly Dube, to vacate Chaka Gold Plant owned by Waverley Lee Jones.

After Judge Kamocha’s ruling, the two approached the Supreme Court with an appeal against the ruling.

They used party militia to grab the mine and then gave jobs to Zanu (PF) supporters. The mine, located along the Kwekwe-Gokwe highway, was previously owned by the Reserve Bank before Jones took over.

Sources told The Zimbabwean that, at its peak, the mine produced 30kg of gold a month valued at over $1,5 million. However, Since the MP and associate started operating under a trade name, Midkwe, it is understood nothing has gone to the fiscus.

The workers’ committee, which complained about the haphazard transfer of ownership, was fired. The previous managers, led by Mine Manager Emmanuel Tamuka Shuro, Finance Manager Richard Mubata and Mine Engineer Charles Night, also lost their jobs.

Fired workers committee chairperson, Kofta Mutawanga, told The Zimbabwean that war veterans had been bussed by the MP to intimidate workers.

However, this week, Valentine Mutatu, Jones’ lawyers confirmed that the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku sitting with Justice Vernanda Ziyambi and Andrew Mutema had dismissed Mutomba and Dube’s appeal to remain at the mine and that Jones had been given the permission to go back to his premises.

The Kwekwe-based lawyer also indicated that following the Supreme Court’s ruling, he was now in the process of taking measures to ensure Mutomba and his collegue were evicted. Mutatu maintained the process would be done along legal channels.

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