Court orders gold miner to vacate ZPC land

HARARE – The High Court has ordered gold dealer, Sebastian Magodo to cease operations from land which the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) claims to have designated for a solar project.

This follows a successful challenge by the power utility for reversal of the mining order which Magodo was granted in 2020.

Magodo was carrying out mining operations at Special Grants 7667, 7668 and 7669 located at Electrom Farm in the Midlands Province.

Handing down his ruling, High Court Judge Webster Chinamora said ZPC had proved its case.

“In its submissions, the applicant made a point that it is the registered owner of Electrom Farm where the special grants were issued.

“The applicant further submitted that the area where the mining operations were taking place was reserved for solar power stations and that there were several open cast mining and shafts.

“I am satisfied by the applicant’s submission that the question of whether or not the applicant had interest in the matter under HC 4169/20 was resolved by this court under HC 5788/20 which ordered the joinder of the applicant to the proceedings under HC 4169/20.

“In the result, I make the following order; the application for rescission of default judgment be and is hereby granted.

“The order granted in HC 4169/20 on 21 October 2020 be and is hereby set aside.”

ZPC had cited as respondents, Magodo, Mines Ministry Permanent Secretary Onesimo Mazai Moyo, Minister Winston Chitando and the Midlands Province Provincial Mining Director.

Through its business performance manager, Bernard Chizengeya, ZPC argued that the mining operations had dire implications to its solar power station project.

Chizengeya said the special grants could not have been given without the authority of the Government Protective Security Inspectorate as the farm is a reserved area under the Mines and Minerals Act and a protected area under the Protected Places and Areas Act.

In response, Magodo insisted the application lacked merit because Chizengeya had failed to prove that he had the authority to file an application on behalf of ZPC.

He went on to submit that the solar panels project failed to take off for three years, thus giving him the right to be granted the special grants.

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