A Kwekwe miner’s lawyers have accused Midlands provincial mining commissioner Wedzerai Dube of defying a High Court order instructing him to properly survey Sherwood Block to end the dispute with Zanu PF activists who reportedly invaded his gold claims.
This follows a February 6 ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maphios Cheda ordering a stop to all mining activities at the site to allow the survey to take place.
The ruling was made after Kwekwe businessman Robert Chipwanyira sought an interim order barring Zanu PF supporters from panning for gold in the area.
Soon after the court ruling, chief mining commissioner Fredson Mabhena ordered Dube to instruct a surveyor to visit the disputed claims to settle the dispute.
But Dube defied the order arguing the Sherwood issue was beyond his jurisdiction, adding the matter should be handled by a senior ministry official Valentine Vera.
“The Chief Mining Commissioner is out of the Sherwood issue as the Ministry has set up a committee to handle this issue, which is chaired by Mr Vera. The area is cordoned off by security agents who are to be consulted by Mr Vera’s committee to implement a holistic survey,” wrote Dube on February 9.
Chipwanyira’s lawyers, Gundu and Dube, replied on the same date saying: “Be advised that your continued disobedience of the Hon Judge’s (Maphios Cheda) directive will leave us no other option, but to revert to him.
“Our client is being greatly prejudiced by continued illegal gold panning which is being conducted on the above property on a daily basis as such we feel our client’s property rights should be vigorously protected and pursued without fear or favour.”
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has reportedly set up 52 syndicates and is said to be pushing the Mines and Mining Development ministry to register and allow them to pan for gold in the lucrative Sherwood Block.