PSL de­fends ref­er­ees' se­lec­tion: Page 12

Demon­stra­tions at $1,8 mil­lion gold mine

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mashudu Net­sianda/ Pa­trick Chi­tumba

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

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