THE three artisanal gold miners at Smithfield Farm in Mazowe, which is at the centre of an ownership wrangle betwen themselves and the former First Lady Grace Mugabe , have threatened to sue her for labelling them as “thieves and illegal gold panners”, who had invaded her private property.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, the miners said they were the rightful owners of the land and gold claims, which Grace claims ownership to.
They accused her of encroaching into their property and abusing her political muscle in a bid to grab their gold mining claims.
“We have instructed our lawyers to file for a lawsuit. She can’t claim that we are invaders, illegal occupants, when we were the first people to be allocated the property and she know this, but was abusing the political muscle that she had,” the miners’ leader, Shepard Nyazvigo, said.
He showed journalists copies of a High Court order, case number HC293/18, barring police and Mugabe’s Gushungo Holdings from interfering with the trio’s mining activities.
The miners last week resisted attempts by Grace to push them out after she filed land invasion charges against them. In her statement to the police, Grace also claimed that the miners had stolen 31 laptops from her Mazowe orphanage, a claim which was later dismissed by Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu as false.