Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Court orders panners off ex-minister’s farm

THE High Court has ordered the eviction of three illegal gold miners, who invaded and set up a stamp mill at former Finance minister Christopher Kuruneri’s Ascotvale Farm in Mazowe.



Kuruneri recently approached the High Court seeking an order to evict Sipho Mlalazi, Arnold Chidawanyika and Alice Mufandaedza after efforts to engage the Ministry of Mines hit a brickwall.

According to Kuruneri, the trio’s families had settled on his farm, where they were mining gold without his consent and inviting several other panners to the area.

“On a date unknown to me, the respondents came and started mining on my farm without my written consent, as is required by section 25 of the Mines and Minerals Act,” the Mt Darwin legislator (Zanu PF) said in his founding affidavit.

“The second respondent (Chidawanyika) claims he bought the mining claim, on which he is mining, from John Meki, who was once mining on my farm with my consent. This is also in contravention of the Mines Act.

“The second respondent has a gold mill as well as a Zesa transformer, both of which I did not consent to having installed on my farm. This gold mill is attracting illegal gold panners to the farm, who are leaving deep uncovered pits in my paddocks, thereby, posing danger to my livestock. I have already lost two cattle, which fell into these holes/pits.”

Kuruneri said at some point, Mlalazi attempted to drill two boreholes on his farm without his consent.

The former minister also told the court the trio had also built homesteads on the property, with Chidawanyika allegedly carrying out illegal farming activities.

“In May 2015, I wrote a letter to the Ministry of Mines seeking their assistance to remove these illegal miners from my farm, but I did not get any positive response. On that basis, my application for an eviction order against the respondents ought to succeed,” he said, as the court ruled in his

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