Mudzi mining wrangle takes new twist

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Illegal miners cut down trees before gouging into the earth in search of gold, and for them, the impact on the environment is none of their business

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

THE Mudzi mine ownership wrangle between Earthrow Investments (Pvt) Limited and Pahasha Somalia Mining Syndicate has taken a new twist with the latter claiming it was legally allocated the claim by government.

The two miners are fighting over control of a claim known as KooDoo 63, located in the gold-rich area of Makaha, near Rugamba Mountain in Mudzi communal lands.

Eathrow Investments owner Paul Chenjerai, through his lawyers Rubaya and Chambatudza Legal Practitioners, last month approached the High Court seeking a declaratory order to bar Pahasha Somalia Mining Syndicate from conducting mining activities at the disputed claim.

But Knowledge Kanoyerera of Pahasha Somalia Mining Syndicate immediately filed opposing papers through his lawyers Madzivanzira and Associates, arguing that the courts could not make a determination on the case without leading proper evidence which could only be availed by the Mines ministry.

“There have been a lot of unlawful or fraudulent activities taking place at the mines office regarding pegging and registration of mining claims. It is, therefore, impossible for this honourable court to deal with this case properly without hearing direct evidence from the mines officials on how it happened that the applicant was in existence, as it allege, when respondents claim was pegged and registered,” the notice read.

Kanoyerera, who is cited as the fourth respondent in the case, added that the syndicate had all relevant papers.

“It is incompetent or improper for the applicant to seek the declaratory order for the cancellation of fourth respondent’s certificate of registration at this stage when it is barred in terms of the Mines Act to seek such a relief.

“Fourth respondent’s mining claim has been registered for a period of more than two years. It is, therefore clear that the applicant is barred from disputing the title in respect of the same on the grounds that the pegging of such claim was invalid or illegal,” the notice added.