Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, Thursday failed to defend the grabbing of gold mining claims in Mberengwa district, Midlands province.
Chitando stands accused of grabbing gold claims owned by businessman Yakub Ibrahim Mohamed’s firm, Anesu Gold, and transferring them to Gold Reef Mining, where he was a shareholder.
In the High Court application, Mohamed claimed that Anesu Gold is the registered owner of the claims which are also referred to as Mangoro claims (Ipanema).
Chitando’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku failed to produce an opposing affidavit to deny the allegations when he appeared before High Court judge Justice Rogers Manyangadze.
The other respondent, Golden Reef, was represented by Welshman Ncube.
Ncube argued that Anesu Gold had failed to establish a locus standi in its founding affidavit. Ncube submitted:
It is respectfully submitted that applicant, having been previously challenged on its locus standi, in previous cases between the parties, particularly case numbers HC7497/20 and HC33/21, had an obligation to plead its locus standi in the founding affidavit by explaining how it has the locus standi to vindicate rights which on the face of it belonged to a company known as Start Mining Services.
Mohamed argued in his application that the mining claims were previously registered in the name of Start Mining Services (Pvt) Limited, but at the material time, they were owned by and/or registered in his company name.
He said in 2018, invoices were sent to Start Mining Services to pay mining fees for the mining claim, but it failed, leading to forfeiture.
But Gold Reef argued that Mohamed and Anesu Gold had no legal right to bring the case before the courts, adding that there was nothing illegal about Chitando being a director of Golden Reef Mining.
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