PSL defends referees' selection: Page 12
Demonstrations at $1,8 million gold mine
THE High Court has blocked Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises from accessing proceeds derived from the sale of gold worth $1,8 million to Fidelity Printers and Refineries as hundreds of Zanu-PF youths yesterday demonstrated against the company for looting the gold in the Midlands province.
At the Bulawayo High Court, Justice Martin Makonese ruled on Monday that the company must stop operations at the mine following an urgent chamber application filed by the owner of Dundrum Mine, Milton Marufu, as anti-riot police with dogs were called to calm the situation yesterday after hundreds of youths staged a demonstration against the company.
In court, Marufu through his lawyers, Masawi and Partners, sought an interim order stopping Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises from conducting mining operations at the mine situated in Zhombe in the Midlands province.
He also wanted the court to interdict Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises from accessing any proceeds from the sale of gold deposited with Fidelity Printers and Refineries pending the determination of the matter.
Marufu cited Vansburg Drumgold, the Officer Commanding police Border Control unit in the Midlands, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Midlands’ provincial mining director and Fidelity Printers and Refineries as the respondents.
“The first respondent (Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises) be and hereby ordered to stop all mining operations at Dundrum Mine registered under certificate of registration no. 29763 situated at Zhombe, Midlands province. The first respondent be and interdicted from accessing any proceeds thereof derived from the sale of gold deposited with fifth respondent (Fidelity Printers and Refineries) pending the determination of this matter,” ruled Justice Makonese.
Marufu, in his founding affidavit, accused Vansburg Drumgold of illegally invading his mine and looting gold ore.
“The first respondent and other illegal gold panners are looting gold from my mining claim and they are already performing extensive mining to my prejudice, such if the relief I’m seeking isn’t granted, I will continue to suffer irreparable harm.
“Vansburg Drumgold has since sold some of the gold to Fidelity Printers and Refineries and is awaiting payment for the gold that belongs to me,” he said.
Marufu said he stood to lose more gold to the firm if the matter was not heard on an urgent basis.
He has been carrying out mining activities at Dundrum Mine since 2013, but Vansburg Drumgold has brought in heavy mining equipment and excavators allegedly to carry out illegal mining activities at the disputed mine.
Last week, Justice Makonese also granted another order interdicting Vansburg Drumgold from illegally mining at Unit 4 Sessombi Farm using certificate numbers 30371 and 30372 in Dundrum North. The order followed an application by Bheki Sibanda.
On Monday, the company also lost in court when six men it accused of looting the 47kgs of gold worth $1,8million walked free after a Kwekwe magistrate ruled that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.
Yesterday, hundreds of Zanu-PF youths demonstrated against Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises for allegedly bribing the police to continue looting the gold.
The demonstrators waved placards denouncing Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises led by Mr Armstrong Mapanga (44) of Kwekwe. They also accused the police of demanding a $2 000 bribe from a syndicate of 15 people before they are allowed to mine.
Cde Charles Chirema, Zanu-PF Zhombe District chairperson said: “The children are crying because they are not allowed in. The police and the army are allegedly mining as protection to Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises while they suffer. We hope we are heard.”
Zanu-PF youths demonstrate against Vansburg Drumgold Enterprises while police monitor the situation in Zhombe yesterday