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Gold rush divides Zanu PF

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Kwekwe Small Miners’ Association (KSMA) has written to the Midlands Joint Operations Command (JOC) accusing the police of allowing Midkwe Minerals to conduct mining operations without a licence.

The association secretary wrote a letter to JOC on May 11 citing KSMA’s concerns over the activities of Midkwe, a mining company owned by Zanu PF Buhera MP William Mutomba, who is embroiled in an ownership wrangle over Chaka Plant and its subsidiary mines with Kwekwe-based businessman Lee Waverly Jones.

“They (Midkwe Minerals) do their mining without any documents, permits or tribute agreements . . . CID Kwekwe is afraid of arresting them because they claim to be connected to top police officers. We ask you members of JOC to investigate these people as they are causing problems for our members.”

The battle for the ownership of Chaka Plant and the gold mines in Kwekwe has taken a political twist which appears to have driven a wedge between known rival factions in Zanu PF reportedly under the leadership of Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mutomba and Jones are locked in a protracted legal battle for the ownership and Jones was at one time arrested and detained for over two weeks before he was granted bail.

Directors of Midkwe refused to say if they had the licence to conduct mining activities saying that the matter was before the courts and commenting further would be in contempt of court. They insisted they were acting on a court order.

One of the directors, Smelly Dube, said: “We are at Chaka Plant because we have a court order which gives us the right to be there and those allegations and letters which are flying around will not change anything. We have been told that Mudha (Ncube) is behind the letter and he has taken sides with Jones.”

KSMA accused Dube in their letter to JOC of masquerading as a Zanu PF official when in fact she was “a moving criminal”.

“ . . . Dube claims to be Zanu PF, but she is not, we have checked. She is a moving criminal who masquerades as Zanu PF to get things and using big names”, reads part of the letter.

Dube who, together with her co-director, MP Mutomba are believed to be aligned to the Mujuru faction, accused the Zanu PF Midlands provincial security officer Owen “Mudha” Ncube of trying to remove her and her co-directors in Midkwe from Chaka Plant by siding with Jones.

The Editor wishes to apologise for the mix-up of this story and the other one published on Page 3 in this issue about goings-on at Sherwood Block. The mixed-up story was published on Page 5 of
yesterday’s edition.

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