HomeLocal NewsZanu PF MP in mine wrangle

Zanu PF MP in mine wrangle

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Buhera North Zanu PF MP William Mutomba is embroiled in a bitter wrangle with Kwekwe-based Homestake Mine, after the latter declined to renew a joint venture mining agreement he claims to have entered into with the gold mining firm.

The matter spilled into the High Court early this month after Mutomba submitted an urgent chamber application seeking an order compelling Homestake Mine (Private) Limited owner Lee Jones to renew the purported joint venture agreement.

But, Justice Hlekani Mwayera sitting in Harare on February 3 ruled Mutomba’s application was not urgent.

According to documents shown to NewsDay, Mutomba, through his mining business unit Midkwe, entered into a joint venture agreement with financially-troubled Carslone Enterprises formed by the RBZ on the basis of a six-year tribute from Homestake to mine gold at Chaka Plant Mine along Gokwe Road.

Mutomba is seeking to force Homestake Mine to renew the agreement which expired on February 3 alleging Midkwe had made vast capital injections into Chaka plant and could therefore not be forced out of the project.

The Zanu PF MP claimed he injected $600 000 into the Chaka Plant after selling off two supermarkets to generate cash to meet Carslone Enterprises debts as well as paying tribute royalties to Homestake Mine.

“Midkwe has already invested up to $600 000 being an amount in respect of outstanding wages to Carslone Enterprises workers and also to paying off their debts . . . the money was generated through a bank loan and disposal of two supermarkets, which was his source of income . . .” wrote Mutomba in an affidavit deposited at the Harare High court.

Mutomba’s lawyers, Chikumbirike and Associates, wanted court to stop the eviction of Midkwe from Chaka plant following the expiry of an agreement between Homestake Mine and Carslone.

“Homestake is about to evict Midkwe on the basis of a tribute agreement which is expiring on February 3.
This, despite the huge investment that Midkwe has put into the mining venture with Carslone at Chaka Plant, Kwekwe.Homestake is about to infringe on Midkwe’s rights of occupation at Chaka Plant, without any court order to that effec . . . It is prayed that (Homestake Mine) be interdicted from proceeding with their illegal actions until Midkwe is given the right to exercise its rights to first refusal,” wrote Mutomba’s lawyers.

However, the Homestake owner denied ever entering into an agreement with Midkwe, saying instead he had an agreement with Carslone Enterprises, and therefore he had no obligations to Mutomba.

“Mutomba wanted the High Court to force our client to renew an agreement which he was never part of and further was trying to get a mining licence from the High Court,” said Jones’s lawyer Valentine Mutatu.

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