Midkwe Minerals forced out of Chaka plant

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BY BLESSED MHLANGA

 Midkwe Minerals, which has been involved in a longstanding mine ownership wrangle with Kwekwe Consolidated Gold Mine (KCGM), has been forced out by the Supreme Court.

The two companies have been involved in a lengthy legal battle over control and ownership of the gold-rich Chaka plant and gold mine. Despite losing numerous court challenges, Midkwe Minerals refused to vacate the mine and appealed against all judgments.

Fronted by former Zanu PF MP William Mutomba, Midkwe Minerals refused to vacate the mine after losing the ownership battle in the High Court in November 2012. The company challenged the ruling at the Supreme Court under SC358/12 and again lost before presenting another challenge in the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in case CCZ76/13.

KCGM through their lawyer Valentine Mutatu filed another Supreme Court case seeking to have the High Court order to evict Midkwe Minerals from Chaka Plant pending the finalisation of the ConCourt appeal which was granted. Mutatu argued that while the matter was pending in the ConCourt, Midkwe Minerals were looting the gold mine and destroying plant and machinery at Chaka Plant.

Justice Florence Ziyambi sitting as a judge of appeal on May 19 granted the order which will see Mutomba’s company being evicted from the mine which they have occupied without a mining licence for nearly three years.

“Pending the determination of the appeal in case CCZ 76/13, leave be and is hereby granted to the applicant to enforce the terms of the order granted in its favour by the High Court on 8 November 2012 and confirmed in an appeal by the Supreme Court in case SC358/12. Any appeal noted against this order shall not have the effect of suspending the operation of the order,” reads part of judgment 0001280.

Mutomba was behind the first court challenge over the mine ownership in 2012 arguing that KCGM should sign off its ownership rights of the mine to him because he had sold his Mutomba Supermarkets to fund operations at the mine when he was leasing it.

He claimed to have invested over $600 000 in Chaka plant paying outstanding wages and salaries for KCGM workers.

Mutatu said his client would soon ensure the enforcement of the order.

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