The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando is under fire after he cancelled a mining certificate of a party long-run dispute over Ran Gold Mines in Bindura.
Chitando last week came under pressure from the President’s Office to act on various disagreements over minerals claims and cancelled Blackgate Investments’s certificate.
There are confrontations between mining executive Jack Murehwa’s G&P Industries and Ran Mines and businesswoman, Angeline Munyeza’s Blackgate Investments belonged to the Murehwa consortium. Chitando ruled:
The ground that Blackgate pegged was not open to prospecting and pegging according to Section 31 of the Mines and Minerals Act at the time that Blackgate purports to have repegged and subsequently registered the claim known as Kimberley 18, which belongs to Ran Mine and G&P Industries.
In light of these findings, the certificates issued to Blackgate Investments were issued in error. I hereby cancel certificates of registration numbers 36 375 and 37 353 respectively.
But Friday, an angry Munyeza rejected the ruling saying it was in contempt of a court order. She fumed:
Your determination has made us question the constitutional adherence of your office as this action is detrimentally ground-breaking and unheard of. It implies the precedence of a minister overturning an order from the highest court in the land, thus depicting your office as a supposed superior arm of the law which acts above the law itself.
It is rather baffling that a whole minister can use the word ‘error’ to adjudicate a dispute that has been ensuing for more than a decade and deem it as conclusive.
We are a business which was built on a patriotic mantra and we believe that your decision could only be equivalent to staging a coup d’etat . . . this is appalling in professional conduct for a minister to overturn a ruling made by an esteemed bench of judges that sits in the highest court in the land. In culmination from our assertion your determination is unlawful in the sense that you have not fulfilled the Supreme Court order hence it renders the Ministry of Mines in contempt of court and continues to be the instigator of this never-ending spiral of injustice that prejudices the nation of the much-needed development.
The fighting started in 1998 and reached a tipping point two weeks ago when G&P Industries said it was pressing ahead with mining.
Last week, presidential spokesman, George Charamba said the high office has to intervene as the Mines ministry seems to have failed to address conflicts in the sector.
G&P Investments claim the mine belonged to the Mugabe family and was transferred to Mnangagwa’s family when Mugabe was removed from power in 2017.
More: The Independent.