Mazowe miner demands US$1m from Kazembe

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A MAZOWE miner has dragged Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe to the High Court demanding over US$1 million, for losses incurred after his mine was reportedly taken over by the police between 2017 and 2019.

Francis Mazarura, who claims to be the owner of Litalute Gold Mine said he and his workers were displaced from the mine in March 2017. In the application, he cited Kazembe and police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga, as respondents.

“The police officers vandalised a significant portion of mining equipment and other property before ordering the plaintiff and his employees to vacate the mine. Without lawful cause, the Zimbabwe Republic Police took charge of the mine and placed it under day and night surveillance from March 2017 up to sometime in 2019.

“No one, including the plaintiff was allowed to access the mine during this period. The plaintiff actually had to seek clearance from the officer in charge at Mazowe Police Station for him to collect some of his belongings,” Mazarura said.

He said in 2019, he later discovered that the police had left the mine but had not sent official communication to him.

“When the plaintiff went to remove the equipment that was at the mine, he realised that some of his mining equipment had disappeared and some already had been extensively damaged because of lack of maintenance over a long period of time. Despite the fact that the police were present at the mine, they could not protect the plaintiff’s property from being stolen,” Mazarura said.

He further claimed that as a result of continuous deprivation of access to the mine, the equipment was left abandoned and prone to extreme changes in weather patterns. He said this resulted in extensive damage to the mining shafts and surrounding mining equipment. “The total value of the mentioned actual loss amounts to US$68 157. The plaintiff also failed to mine and realise value from the mining activity during the period that he had been unlawfully deprived access to his mine.

“Due to lack of maintenance, the mine shaft that had been drilled to commence underground mining got filled up and plenty of other material destruction was done to the mine,” he said.

He said during the time he was denied access to the mine he lost potential revenue of US$616 000, adding that he wants to resume mining operations, which requires US$483 743 and
US$2 000 to obtain a geologist assessment report.

Kazembe and Matanga, who are cited in the court papers in their official capacities, have not yet responded to the application.

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