HomeNewsRioZim wins Darwendale chrome mining wrangle

RioZim wins Darwendale chrome mining wrangle

-

RIOZIM Limited has won its protracted dispute with the military and a company owned by Pakistani nationals Falcon Recourses over chrome mining claims in Darwendale, Mashonaland West province.

BY CHARLES LAITON

The dispute started sometime in August 2018 when Defence and War Veterans Affairs minister Oppah Muchinguri declared RioZim’s mining claims a cantonment area and offered them to Falcon Resources.

The matter was referred to the High Court where Justice Happias Zhou ruled in favour of the military and booted RioZim out of its
claims.

However, through its lawyer Thabani Mpofu, RioZim appealed to the Supreme Court and yesterday, judgment was handed down by Chief Justice Luke Malaba sitting with Justices Tendai Uchena and George Chiweshe.

“The unanimous view of the court is that judgment of the High Court is clearly wrong. Accordingly, the appeal succeeds and the judgment is set aside with costs and in its place substituted the following; the provisional order is confirmed. Full reasons of the judgment will be availed in due course,” Justice Malaba said.

According to RioZim, the military, represented by Lewis Uriri, declared the area a cantonment and later gave it to a company which had been aggressively mining schrome.

In his founding affidavit, RioZim Limited’s chief geologist, Patrick Takaedza said his firm was a holder of 260 mining claims some of which were partly on Darwendale South Eclipse, New Burnside, and Darwendale B Farms, but were taken over by the military under the guise that it was a cantonment area.

Takaedza said of particular significance to the High Court application filed on September 28, 2018, were claims known as Wendale 42 and Wendale 43 blocks which were registered under certificates 18006BM and 18007BM, respectively.

Takaedza further said the decision by Muchinguri, in her official capacity, to issue a notice declaring the area in question a cantonment area was unlawful and in disregard of the law.

According to Takaedza, on August 3, 2018, Muchinguri, acting in terms of section 89 of the Defence Act, published a notice, which notice was cited as the Defence (Cantonments) Notice 2018 (No 51), which stipulated that the area described in the schedule shall be a cantonment for the purpose of part IX of the Act.

Takaedza said following the declaration by the minister, his company later learnt that two other companies, Falcon Resources (Pvt) Ltd and Rusununguko Nkululeko (Pvt) Ltd, were carrying out mining activities in the same area.

He also said in February 2018 Falcon Resources wrote to RioZim asking for a tribute in respect of its chrome ore claims but his firm did not respond.

However, in May 2018, Takaedza said it was reported that mining activities were taking place at RioZim’s claims and after making investigations it was discovered that Falcon Resources and Rusununguko Nkululeko (Pvt) Ltd were on the site.

Takaedza further said investigations revealed that Falcon Resources (Pvt) Ltd had two directors, who were the only shareholders, Mohammed Tariq Aziz, a Pakistani national and Aneeqa Zubair, a Dutch national, both believed to be former Pakistan army officers who were attachés or on secondment to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) between 1980 and 2000.

Takaedza said it was later discovered that Rusununguko Nkululeko (Pvt) Ltd also had two directors who were also the shareholders, Sibusiso Moyo and Jacob Malate of Manyame Airforce Base in Harare.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading