CHIEF secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, has been dragged into a mining claim wrangle between Kadoma businessmen, James Nyamarebvu and principal director in the Information ministry, Regis Chikowore.
This came out in a lawsuit recently filed by Nyamarebvu, where he is suing Ministry of Mines officials for allowing Chikowore’s agents to invade his mining claims and deny him access to the claims.
In his founding affidavit, filed at the Bulawayo High Court on September 6, Nayamarebvu said he is the holder of a mining claim in the Kadoma known as Haggis 25 number 1021BM.
“Sometime in January 2015, my mining claims were invaded by one Litten Chikowore, Aaron Chikowore, Tawanda Makumire, Joseph Siyabeka and Gift Jakarasi,” he submitted.
“All this material time, these persons purportedly acted on behalf of Regis Chikowore and his parents, a farmer in whose land my claims are located.”
Nyamarebvu said he engaged the permanent secretary in the Mines ministry and the provincial mining director, who ruled through their letters dated March 18 and January 30, 2015 that the mining claim in dispute was his.
He said he approached the court under case number HC547/15 and obtained a provisional order interdicting the invaders to leave, but they filed opposing papers.
“Meanwhile under case number HC 1092/15, Herbert Chikowore approached this court seeking an order inter-alia for cancellation of Haggis 25 claim on the basis that it was fraudulently pegged,” Nyamarebvu submitted.
He said on the day of the hearing, Chikowore capitulated and withdrew the application, realising it would fail.
Nyamarebvu said a court judgment ordering the removal of the invaders from the claim has yielded no success.
“I have engaged the police, deputy sheriff and the messenger of court in Kadoma, but my efforts have come to naught,” he submitted.
“The police have conveniently stated that they cannot follow the court judgment without legal advice from their legal department. They insinuated that the judgment of the court must have been corruptly obtained.”
Nyamarebvu said he drew his own conclusions that there is interference from senior government officials in the matter.
“…a letter written to the secretary of Mines and Mining Development by the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet (Sibanda), in which the chief secretary points out that one of the senior employees of government Regis Chikowore has an interest in my mining claim and at the same time asking the secretary of Mines and Mining Development to ensure that the matter is regularised urgently,” he said.
“I am now approaching this court to direct the respondents to allow me to inspect my claims as the respondents have barred me from doing so without lawful cause.”
Ministry of Mines officials are yet to respond to the application.newsday