By Shamiso Dzingire
A Bindura magistrate has stopped Ran Mine from arbitrarily evicting 359 residents who are occupying the mine’s quarters without a court order.
The residents who were led by Bindura North Ward 2 councillor Ian Makone, filed an application for an interdict citing Ran Mine and Bindura Central Police officer in-charge as first and second respondent’s respectively.
Mirriam Banda ruled that the residents demonstrated that they have the right to occupy the residents’ quarters.
Banda barred the mine and officer in-charge at Bindura Central Police from directly or indirectly interfering with activities at Ran Mine compound without a court order.
“I do hereby prohibit respondents and all those acting through them from arbitrarily evicting applicants at Ran Mine residents’ quarters without a court order or a lawful authority,” Banda said.
She also ordered the respondents to pay legal costs for the applicants.
Contacted for comment, Makone said they are happy with the court ruling and can now enjoy the festive season in peace.
“The residents are very happy with the court ruling and they are now settled because they are not going to be evicted. They are enjoying their holiday with peace of mind,” he said.
Through their lawyer Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) the residents sought to prohibit the respondents and all those acting through them from arbitrarily evicting them from the residents’ quarters without a court order.
The residents premised their application on that at law, they are still Ran Mine employees and are owed 17 years’ arrear salaries as their contracts were never terminated.
Shava said on or about October 4, individuals purporting to represent Ran Mine went to residents’ quarters and notified the occupants that they intend to resume operations.
“However, they also advised that the first respondent was no longer desirous of having the applicants reside at the residents’ quarters. No reason was proffered for the decision taken,” Shava said.
On or about November 2, Shava said the Ran Mine issued residents with notices of eviction.
“It is important to note that the notices of eviction were clear on the deadlines upon which the applicants ought to have vacated the premises. Further the notices gave an impression that if applicants did not take heed of the notices, respondent would take legal action.”
“Alas, that was not to be. First Respondent has since then visited applicants’ quarters, intending to evict them without a court order.”
Shava said on or about November 15, 2018, Ran Mine officials teamed up with ZRP members and approached the residents’ quarters and threatened them with unspecified action if they did not take heed of the notices of eviction. DailyNews