Soldiers run amok, invade gold mine

HARARE - Several soldiers ran amok and invaded a gold mine, looting and turning into miners, the High Court has heard.

In an urgent chamber application filed yesterday, Blooming Lilly Investments Pvt Limited told the court that Slashwood Mining Pvt Ltd enlisted the services of soldiers to invade its mine on February 6 this year.

According to court papers, Blooming Lilly lost several mining claims, including Danga 3, Matebele and Sheba, after the invasion.

“Around 40 military personnel unlawfully commandeered the said sites and have begun illegal mining activities thereon and have ejected the applicant and its agents from the sites without the consent of the applicant to such ejectment.”

Blooming Lilly’s director Tapiwa Gurupira told the court: “Applicant has been in peaceful and undisturbed possession of the said sites and has been conducting its mining activities.

“However, on the 6th of February 2013, respondent in the company of about 40 military personnel invaded the sites and forcibly removed applicant’s agents.”

Gurupira said Slashwood brought a provisional eviction order but he said he was not subject to the court order, since it referred to a different legal personality.

“It is submitted that actions of respondent amounted to despoliation of applicant, because the court order was being used for other purposes than that for which it was granted,” said Gurupira.

“Applicant prays for a mandamant van spolie (spoliation order) to be granted in its favour, and the applicant will undergo severe, unsalvageable economic harm, should the respondent and its agents that have begun looting from the sites are not removed from the sites and curtailed future and further incursions,” reads part of the court application. - Tendai Kamhungira

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