The battle to control Chaka Plant and its mining claims between Midkwe Minerals and Kwekwe Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) turned nasty last week after a group of war veterans invaded the plant demanding the deportation of KCGM owner Lee Jones from Zimbabwe.
Midkwe Minerals is owned by Zanu PF Buhera North MP William Mtomba.
The war veterans, who were reportedly bussed from Gweru, invaded the mine hours after Midkwe Minerals was served with a court order stopping it from mining gold at the contested mine.
Midkwe Minerals has been operating at Chaka Plant following an invitation to invest in Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe gold mining subsidiary Carslone Enterprises which was leasing the plant and mining claims from KCGM.
The lease agreement expired on February 3 and KCGM refused to renew the agreement with Carslone courting the ire of Mtomba who then dragged Jones to court hoping the mine owners would be forced to renew the lease.
The matter was however thrown out by Justice Hlekani Mwayera who ruled it was not urgent.
However, even after expiry of the lease Midkwe had continued to mine from Chaka Plant, prompting KCGM to seek an interdict to bar the Mtomba-owned firm from the mine.
Justice Lawrence Kamocha issued the order on March 2 stopping any agents associated with Carslone from working the mines, which order was served to Midkwe sparking the row.
“The respondent is interdicted to ensure that any of its business partners, associates . . . refrain from carrying out any mining operations on mining claims previously tributed to Carlsone or Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, from any operations at Chaka Plant,” reads part of the order in case number HC683/12.
KCGM lawyer Valentine Mutatu confirmed his client was being hounded out of Chaka plant by angry war veterans who accused Justice Kamocha of handing back mineral wealth to the former colonisers.
The war veterans even proceeded to the Deputy Sheriff’s offices where they threatened to beat up staff at the office for “reversing the gains of the liberation struggle”.
“We have advised our clients to go back to the plant after they were chased away by war veterans (on Monday last week), the matter has since been reported to the police who are now investigating the allegations,” said Mutatu.
Deputy Sheriff Energy Pedzera confirmed serving Midkwe Minerals with the interdict, but refused to discuss other details.
“We served them with a lawful court interdict issued by the Bulawayo High Court and we are confident that they will comply,” said Pedzera.
Meanwhile Mutatu said he was now in possession of writs to evict top management from Carslone and its business partners who were occupying houses owned by KCGM.
“We have served them with notices of eviction through the messenger of court and we await them to vacate the houses within 14 days of service,” he said.