ZIMBABWE Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda and State Security minister Owen Mudha Ncube have been implicated in a messy mine ownership wrangle after Chantelle Chikafu, the woman who masqueraded as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s daughter ejected a Shamva miner John Maungwa from his gold-rich claims, reportedly went around saying she enjoyed protection from them.
Chikafu reportedly dropped Sibanda and Ncube’s names in deciding to defy a High Court order evicting her from the mine located inside Umfurudzi Game Park.
She is reportedly working with Shamva North legislator Oscar Gorerino to wrest the mining claims from Maungwa. She was recently ordered off the mine by the High Court, which ruled that Maungwa had legal rights to the property.
Despite the ruling, Chikafu has remained on the ground claiming she enjoys protection from Sibanda and Ncube. The saga has also sucked in Officer Commanding police in Mashonaland Central, David Mahoya, who is being accused of failing to implement a directive from the provincial Joint Operations Command (JOC) to evict her.
The Zimbabwe Independent now understands that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is set to launch an investigation into the matter after a report was made.
“Chikafu and Gorerino are now using the names of Owen Ncube and ZDF commander Sibanda to intimidate anyone who wants to remove them from Maungwa’s mine. She is going around saying Sibanda allowed her to mine and so she claims to enjoy the protection of high offices,” a source close to developments said.
“A report has since been made to Zacc and police and we expect prosecutions to commence soon.” Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo confirmed the development yesterday.
“Reports were made to Zacc but no investigations have commenced. Another report was made to the police,” Justice Matanda-Moyo said. Documents seen by The Independent suggest that the Zimbabwe Republic Police, through its legal services department, wrote to Mahoya instructing him to ensure the return of Maungwa to the mine but the provincial police boss has reportedly failed to act on it.
“Having perused through all court judgments in the above mining dispute, we have noted that the most recent court order handed over by Justice (Tawanda) Chitapi under case number HC763/20 dated 25 November 2020, granted John Maungwa the right to carry out mining activities at Wickman 23 Mine,” the letter reads.
“Even though Shantelle Chikafu filed court applications seeking to set aside the judgement by Chitapi, this will not stop John Maungwa from carrying out his mining operations since he has been given the greenlight to do so by a competent court.”
“This touches on the aspects of the rule of law which is one of the founding values and principles that bind institutions. In casu the judgement of the court binds the ZRP and obligates it to obey the court order. The police can therefore not be seen to be acting contrary to the spirit of the court order. John Maungwa must be allowed to enjoy his unfettered rights to his mining concession,” wrote the ZRP legal services.
Contacted for comment, Mahoya said: “I can’t talk to you without knowing that I am really talking to a reporter from that paper. I can’t interact with you without authenticating your identity.”
Chikafu could not be reached for comment.Gorerino distanced himself from the dispute despite having told our sister paper NewsDay that the matter was being handled by the JOC and declaring that Maungwa would never have control of the mine.
“JOC visited the mine and arrests of illegal miners have been effected by Zimparks together with police. Why don’t you say you are now being used by Maungwa’s team? But still that won’t give them control of the mine,” Gorerino said.
Maungwa said he could not comment on the matter but confirmed that he had not resumed mining operations. Justice Jacob Manzunzu in his order on April 29 directed that Maungwa be restored possession of Wickman 23 Mine which Chikafu and some Zanu PF youths invaded and illegally occupied on April 17.
The order also barred those acting on her behalf or through her from disturbing Maungwa’s operations at the mine.
Efforts to get comments from Sibanda and Ncube were fruitless.