Small scale miner sues Zimasco over gold claim

A SHURUGWI-BASED small-scale gold miner, Florence Mbizo, has taken the Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco), to court for allegedly encroaching into her mining claim.

BY CHARLES LAITON

According to the court papers, Mbizo is the executor of her late husband, Nicholas Mudzengi’s estate, filed the urgent chamber application on Tuesday seeking an order interdicting Zimasco from interfering with her mining activities at a claim known as ANSH 139 registered under number 27159.

In her founding affidavit, Mbizo said she took the chrome miner to court following an incident which occurred on April 21, 2018 where Zimasco’s six private guards cordoned off her mining block using a disputed survey map.

“The main subject of this application is the block known as ANSH139 which I have been in peaceful and undisturbed possession of since 2007. I have also complied with the regulations as evidenced by my certificate of inspection….,” Mbizo said.

She added:“When my husband died on January 13, 2012, I continued working on the gold claim in dispute without any interference from the first respondent (Zimasco).”

“Sometime in December 2017, first respondent’s mine manager came to our mine with surveyors who tried to manipulate the boundary by removing beacons and encroaching into my block. This was in spite of the fact that we had shared this boundary for a period in excess of 10 years reflecting that we had a peaceful coexistence with the first respondent.”

Mbizo said sometime in December 2017, a Midlands provincial mining director invited her together with Zimasco for a meeting, where it was resolved that a new survey would be carried out to clearly define the boundaries.

“After the survey was concluded the second respondent (Provincial Mining Director for Midlands Province) made its determination on April 4, 2018 which decision is grossly unreasonable that no reasonable person, exercising their mind properly and impartially on the same facts could come to such a conclusion,” she said.

“It boggles one’s mind how such a position could have been arrived at. This is so if regard is heard to the original map of February 2012.

“….since April 21, 2018 we have been losing potential income and if the current situation is allowed to unfold, I fear serious irreparable harm will result. I humbly submit that I have met the requirement of the granting of an interdict stopping the first respondent from taking over the blocks pending the application for review.”
Mbizo also said her machinery and equipment was still on the site where Zimasco guards had cordoned off, adding she now fears her equipment could be vandalised if the matter is not resolved urgently.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.