PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s nephew Tarirai David Mnangagwa has been barred by the High Court from carrying out any mining activities at the disputed Jilikin Gold Mine located in Gweru.
Mnangagwa, who was cited as third respondent in the court papers, has also been ordered to pay costs of the suit at legal practitioners-client scale in a court ruling by Justice Happias Zhou delivered on December 28.
The gold mining claims in question are under Block 16 Quarts mining claims called Jilikin 25, registration number 12641BM whose owner, according to court papers seen by the Zimbabwe Independent, is Chad Cecil Mupandanyama, since 2005.
But in October, Mnangagwa filed an application with the court, alleging that he had been duped of US$4 million by Mupandanyama after he booted out a company which he co-founded.
Mupandanyama together with his company, Swifteagle Investment Business Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd, cited Eliazel Mushiringi, Mnangagwa, Ruan Meats Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, Wozheri Stone Crushers (Pvt) Ltd, Registrar of Companies, provincial mining director, Mines minister Winston Chitando as co-respondents in the matter.
Mupandanyama said initially, he was partners with Mushiringi, who later roped in Mnangagwa to register a company called Wozheri Stone Crushers (Pvt) Ltd using a forged signature and other documents obtained fraudulently.
As a result, Mupandanyama approached the High Court seeking it to issue an order declaring the registration of Wozheri Stone Crushers unlawful.
Mupandanyama is also seeking the cancellation of the memorandum of agreement entered between Mushiringi and Mnangagwa on November 28, 2017.
But in a provisional order, Justice Zhou ordered: “The first respondent be and is hereby barred from carrying out any mining activities and ferrying quarry stones from Jilikin 25 Mine held under certificate Number 12641BM until case No HC 6457/20 is finalised. First, third and fourth respondents shall pay costs of this suit on a legal practitioner-client scale.”
Pending the determination of the matter, the judge added: “… all forms of mining activities by the first respondent and abide activities through them on the disputed mine known as Jilikin Mine, registration No 12641BM, be and are hereby suspended and the respondents are interdicted from removing any stones mined from Jilikin Mine.”
Mnangagwa and his co-accused have been given 10 days to file a notice of opposition.
According to Mupandanyama, the drama started on January 7, 2016, when he entered a tribute agreement with Mushiringi in terms of which he (Mupandanyama) agreed to grant mining rights to Mushiringi to develop, extract, mill and treat ore from the same and dispose of the product for own account.
On March 18, 2016, Mupandanyama said Mushiringi entered another agreement with Mnangagwa in terms of which he agreed to give up his mining rights, which he was exercising by virtue of the tribute agreement with Mupandanyama, to Swifteagle.
This included installation of a granite crushing plant, payment of council fees, mine inspection fees, transport, food, accommodation, site fencing, costs of assaying and application of certificates.
However, around September 2017, Mupandanyama registered a company with Mushiringi to carry out mining activities at his mining claims. They agreed to dissolve their prior tribute agreements and regularise their mining activities through registration of a new company.
On October 6, 2017 they registered a company, Ultrech Trading to be used as a special purpose vehicle to exploit the mining claim.
But, on November 21, 2017, Mupandanyama said Mushiringi misled him into signing a form to transfer his mining rights at Jilikin 25 which he alleged was necessary to effect the name change.
They also agreed to allot shares, of which Mupandanyama would get 32,5%, Swifteagle 32,5% and Mushiringi 35%.
Besides the distribution of shares, Mupandanyama said they agreed to invite investors who would get 60% shareholding upon paying a commitment fee of US$500 000 to the company.
He said Mushiringi, “and acting with deceit and in connivance with Mnangagwa”, allegedly forged Mupandanyama’s signature on the memorandum and articles of association “of the fraudulently procured company thereby unlawfully making a share allocation to themselves and to Mupandanyama” as follows — Chad Cecil Mupandanyama 100 shares; Eliazel Mushiringi 300 shares and Tarirai Mnangagwa 1 200 shares.
Mnangagwa’s nephew made headlines in May this year when he reportedly fired shots into the air repeatedly, threatening to shoot a Zesa employee deployed to take meter readings at his farm in Norton, Plot 52 Bundu Park Farm, Lydiate, about 40km west of Harare.