Fidelity granted order over gold mine
Chief Court Reporter
FIDELITY Printers and Refineries has been granted an interim order by the High Court, blocking hooligans that had invaded a gold mine it owned in the Midlands and reversing the forfeiture and reallocation of the mining claims as due process had not been followed.
Fidelity, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, made an urgent application seeking protection against the hooligans and preventing Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Midlands provincial mining director Mr Nelson Munyanduri transferring the claims and mining rights to Jonah Nyevero, arguing the forfeiture of the claim was unlawful because due process was not followed.
Justice Owen Tagu granted the application for an interim order in a ruling that found that the provisions of the Mines and Mining Act were never followed.
He said Minister Chitando was empowered to make administrative decisions, but such powers should be exercised according to the law after following due process. “It appears he clandestinely forfeited the mining claim without following the due process,” said Justice Tagu, granting the interim order.
When Minister Chitando sanctioned the forfeiture of the mining claim, the court found that he did not even engage Fidelity as required by the law.
It was also the court’s finding that Nyevero could not assert that the special grant he now possessed was issued lawfully because he does not preside over the process.
Fidelity went to court after being told by the ministry that its claim to Mirage 3 Mine had been forfeited even though last month Fidelity wrote to the ministry to find our what were the arrears in statutory payments for Mirage 3.
Mr Munyanduri responded to the letter, advising the company that its claim was forfeited on June 5 last year.