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Messy fight over gold mine

A fight has erupted in the gold rich Mazowe area — 40km north of Harare where a group of farmers are reportedly disrupting operations at a mine.

A long running attempt to have the alleged intruders at Zawadi Mining removed have drawn blanks as the provincial leadership in government and police are accused of failing to resolve the matter.

The fight over the lucrative gold claims has since spilled into the courts as owners of Zawadi Mining Private Limited led by Asante Mayeka are battling a group of farmers operating under Revmark Mining Syndicate.

Zawadi has sought protection from the alleged invaders but the police are taking longer than expected to act. Zawadi Mining filed a complaint against Revmark syndicate members with the police in June 2020 under case number RRB 471475 ZRP Concession. Again, no action was taken.

The matter was also reported to the Mashonaland Central provincial Mines and Mining Development ministry and police’s Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit. The Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mavhunga is also said to be in the know of the raging dispute and has failed to resolve the matter.

Sources said Revmark Mining Syndicate was given an opportunity to present its case to Mavhunga. This was after Revmark syndicate members gained entry into the Zawadi mining claims.

Mavhunga did not respond to questions sent via WhatsApp while her mobile phone went unanswered several times.

The fight over the mine spilled into the High Court where Justice David Mangota referred the matter to the Mines and Mining Development ministry for resolution. Revmark (the applicant) had escalated the matter with the High Court against Zawadi Mining.

In part the July 21, 2021 judgment reads, “Where upon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel it is ordered by consent that the application be and is hereby withdrawn.

“The dispute between the parties be and hereby referred to the ministry of Mines and Mining Development for resolution. 1st respondent (Zawadi) shall continue erecting its fence around the claim known as Murodzi 45 and shall provide access for the applicants to and from their fields and pastures between the hours of 6am and 6pm.

“The applicant hereby undertakes not to, in any way interfere with the mining operations of Zawadi Mining Pvt Ltd including carrying out any mining activities within that mining company’s claim known as Murodzi 45. In the event that the applicant breach paragraph (4) of this order, the 1st respondent be and is hereby authorised to close the entrance leading to its claim known as Murodzi 45.”

But Revmark has allegedly been in breach of the court order.

The dispute is raging like veld fire, prompting Zawadi’s lawyers to petition police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.

In a letter dated December 23, 2021, Joel Mambara and Partners representing Zawadi Mining pleaded for Matanga’s intervention.

The letter reads: “We act on behalf of our client Zawadi Mining Pvt Ltd, a company duly registered with the laws of Zimbabwe. Hence note our legal interest. Our client made a report of theft of gold against Vavarirai Revesai and his accomplices, Isaac Mukazi, Christopher Mukazi, Anymore Makarichi, and Andrew Chaboka under RRB4714575.

“They are threatening our client‘s employees as of December 23, 2021 in violation of a court order HC 37557/1. As of today nothing has happened and the police did not go to collect samples to determine the correct value of gold stolen as well as conduct any investigations,” the letter reads.

“What it basically means is that the police are now under-policing /investigating and as such the case runs the risk of being thrown out of court for lack of evidence. I must state that I am a holder of mining rights and our client mine is registered under Murodzi 45 concession.”

Revmark Mining Syndicate leader Vavarirai Revesai’s phone went unanswered after several attempts to get his comment while Zawadi representatives declined to discuss the matter, saying it was subjudice.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi was not available for comment. – (The Independent)

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