War veterans in Shurugwi are up in arms with Midlands provincial mining director (PMD) Mr Nelson Munyanduri, whom they accuse of seeking to override a court ruling and illegally repossessing mining claims they acquired from Falcon Gold and reallocating them.
Mr Munyanduri allegedly sought to evict a syndicate of war veterans led by Mr Isaac Chivendere, who bought gold claims from Falcon Gold in Shurugwi on the outskirts of the gold mining town in 2012.
Falcon has since confirmed selling the claims to the syndicate. Agreements of sale seen by The Herald show that the freedom fighters bought the claims from Falcon under an empowerment initiative. It is understood that Mr Munyanduri ordered Mr Chivendere to vacate the piece of land he acquired together with a syndicate of war veterans from Falcon to allow Mrs Joice Mlambo to mine despite Falcon producing documents showing that they had sold the mining blocks to a syndicate of war veteran.
The war veterans are now suspecting that there were some underhand dealings involving the mining commissioner and the intended beneficiaries. “I do not know the PMD’s motive because we explained this to him and the Minister of State that we bought these blocks way back and they belonged to Falcon Gold. These farmers were later settled on our mining blocks.
“The matter was once resolved by the Ministry of Mines in 2013, which ruled according to the Mines and Minerals Act, mining takes precedence,” said syndicate leader Mr Chivendere.
“We even have a court judgment which ruled that we should continue with our mining activities. To my surprise a farmer, Mrs Mlambo first argued that she wanted to use the piece of land for agricultural purposes. She then started mining in the same area after getting the green light from Mr Munyanduri. We have since approached Minister of State (for Midlands Provincial Affairs) Larry Mavima to resolve the matter because we suspect that there could be underhand dealings.”
Mr Munyanduri refused to comment, claiming that he was not allowed to speak to the media. Mrs Mlambo confirmed the wrangle, saying she was allocated the piece of land in 2001 through the land reform exercise. She confirmed that she was also mining and farming.