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Mines Minister Winston Chitando fails to oppose mine grab case

Mines Minister Winston Chitando has failed to defend himself in a case he is accused of grabbing eight gold mining claims belonging to businessman Yakub Ibrahim Mahomed in Mberengwa.

Mahomed argues that, after grading the claims, Chitando re-issued them under a special grant to Golden Reef Mining (Pvt) Ltd, in which he has interests.

The complainant, who owns Anesu Gold (Pvt) Ltd, filed a High Court application earlier this month, seeking to interdict Chitando, Mines secretary Onesimo Moyo, Golden Reef Mining, and Midlands provincial mining director Tariro Ndhlovu from grabbing the mining claims.

Mohamed claimed that Anesu Gold was the registered owner of the claims which are also referred to as Mangoro claims (Ipanema).

He argues that the mining claims were previously owned by, and registered in the name of Start Mining Services (Private) Limited, where he initially had a 70% stake with the other 30% owned by Rugare Gumbo who he later bought out.

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Nehanda Radio understands that Chitando’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku appeared before High Court judge Justice Rogers Manyangadze last week and failed to depose an opposing affidavit.

The other respondent, Golden Reef was represented by Welshman Ncube who argued that Anesu Gold had failed to establish a locus standi in its founding affidavit.

Mohamed alleged that in 2018, Chitando sent invoices for Start Mining Services to pay mining fees for the claims.

But Gold Reef argued that there was nothing illegal about Chitando being a director of Golden Reef Mining.

“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,” Ncube submitted. Nehanda Radio