Minister Mpofu spared jail

HARARE - Obert Mpofu, the Transport minister, has escaped a jail term after the High Court set aside a civil imprisonment ruling, following allegations that he defied a court order.

Court proceedings arose from the time Mpofu was the minister of Mines and Mining Development.

The litigation was instituted against Mpofu and the former mining commissioner for Harare Eunice Kahonde.

He was taken to court by Chiroswa Minerals (Private) Limited and Base Minerals (Private) Limited, claiming the minister had defied a court order, passed in November 2011.

According to court papers, Mpofu failed to act after Justice Bharat Patel gave an order for the approval and registration of a tribute agreement for the two companies in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Act.

In January last year, High Court judge Maxwell Takuva gave an order authorising Mpofu and Kahonde’s commitment to prison for 30 days for failure to comply with Patel’s ruling.

However, High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu reversed the ruling on Thursday.

“Every person has a right to personal liberty, which includes the right not to be detained without trial and not to be deprived of their liberty arbitrarily or without just cause,” Bhunu said.

“No person may be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.”

In his judgment Bhunu said the mining commissioner was within her rights when she declined to register the tribute agreement, seeking the two companies to first comply with the Mines and Minerals Act.

He said Takuva’s ruling for civil imprisonment appears to have been issued in error, based on papers filed in chambers, in the absence of the other party.

Bhunu further said that the court rules provided for correction of such orders.

Bhunu said Mpofu had complied with Patel’s ruling by referring the tribute agreement to the mining commissioner.

“Whether or not the mining commissioner was going to grant the registration of the agreement had nothing to do with him,” Bhunu said.

Comments (17)

SOME OF THE ARGUMENTS PUT FORWARD BY BLACK POLITICIANS ARE ASININE AND CHILDISH. EDUCATION WAS BROUGHT BY THE WHITE COLONIALISTS - WHY SHOULD ANY BLACK PERSON COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING DENIED EDUCATION AND AT THE SAME TIME SAY COLONIALISM WAS EVIL? YOU EITHER LIKE THE EDUCATION AND THE COLONIALISM OR YOU DON'T LIKE THE EDUCATION THAT THE COLONIALISTS BROUGHT. BECAUSE WITHOUT COLONIALISM THERE WOULD BE NO EDUCATION TO TALK ABOUT. Education and colonialism are “Siamese Twins”. Before the whites came there was no single school in this borderless land. Our forefathers were living in “ darkness” or “perpetual ignorance” before the whites came. This is unpalatable for some political hypocrites. If African education was bad as some say how come some went to University? Sara Kachingwe nee Chavhunduka was the first black women to attend the University of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953. How did she get to University if African education was supposedly very bad? It is a lie that blacks were denied education because al the politicians we know were educated in Rhodesia. Nathan Shamuyarira was educated at Waddilove Institute - a black school built by the whites solely for educating blacks. Mugabe was a schoolteacher - where was he educated? Who was he teaching? Is he lying to us that he was a teacher? In Mbare there are schools like Chirodzo, Chitsere, Shingirayi which were built in the 1930s by whites solely for blacks.

Musona - 12 July 2014

LAND - it is a lie that blacks were denied land. What is the point of giving someone vast tracts of land when that person is poor and has no unique skills to do serious commercial farming? THE LATE GEORGE TAVENGWA OWNED 9 (NINE) LARGE COMMERCIAL FARMS IN RHODESIA. George Tavengwa was black - he is the one who built Mushandira Pamwe Hotel in Highfield. George Tavengwa had the money to do serious commercial farming - where he lacked farming skills he employed white farm managers with farming skills. Typical black man with big brains. There was no racism in Rhodesia - there was realism. Everything was based on merit. We cannot make progress when we lie to each other that we were better off before colonialism - we all know this is not true. Up with COLONIALISM. If indeed we are FREE then why should we be afraid to tell it like it was - the truth? There is nothing offensive in what I have stated because it is what I saw with my own eyes - what I know. Why force me to tell lies? My arguments are underpinned by real life incontrovertible examples.

Musona - 12 July 2014

Before the whites came in 1890 our forefathers only used back-breaking hand-hoes to do some crude ploughing - at most they could only till an area the size of an 18-yard area of a football field. It was the whites who taught us to use ox-drawn ploughs. Were it not for the whites we could still be using only hand-hoes. Maghejo (ox-drawn ploughs) are made in factories - there was no single factory in the land before 1890. What use was land to the locals before 1890 then? We have to thank the whites for teaching us that you can harness oxen to plough. These are some of the benefits of colonialism. Without the white man's ghejo what use was land? This is unpalatable to some of us who suffer from inferiority complex. We do no want to admit we were very backward. It's the same with education - no colonialism - no education: no colonialism no ma ghejo.

Musona - 12 July 2014

Sick messages from a brainless Musona

mageja siziba - 12 July 2014

@mageja siziba - cretin.

Musona - 12 July 2014

Interesting comments. I remember reading about “industrial infanticide” when researching for an essay on “How Europe underdeveloped Africa.” The argument is that even Europe was backward at some point. Left on its own a society would develop out of need. One can not say with certainty that without the Europeans Africa may never have developed. Actually what the Europeans did was to stunt the development of Africa. They tried to impose their own way of doing things which at the time may have accelerated "things in Africa" but that may not have been the best approach. Remember there were blacksmiths in Africa making tools out of wrought iron. Did they learn that from Europeans? the San people made paint which they used for "rock painting". This was a form of writing. I have seen these in my village. Some black societies were weaving garments from different materials before colonialism. Also remember that societies learn from each other. It may not have been necessary to colonize Africa for Europeans to do what they did. This were my arguments in that piece of academic work. There were two people who came top when the essays were marked. I was one of them as I argued that Europe indeed underdeveloped Africa through industrial infanticide. The other guy who came top was of the view that Europe did not under develop Africa, “Minerals underground not yet discovered are of no value”, he argued. He had very interesting arguments and I also believe my arguments were also interesting.

Xinhori Xahumba - 12 July 2014

@Xinhori Xahumba -- (CONT'D) - The whites were in the industrial revolution at the time and catapulted us from the Stone Ag to modernity. This is unpalatable to some of us. In the past stronger nations periodically raided weaker neighbours or tribes abroad for the sole purpose of looting - there was no trade between nations. That was the way people lived in the past. Even the Matebele raided deep in the Masvingo area looting and taking slaves back to Matebeleland. It was not only colonial powers who did this. South American countries are products of colonial looting by the Spanish and Portuguese. We cannot continue to moan about being colonised because we are not the only land colonised. Instead of the politicians simply saying they were after power they harp on about the so-called evils of colonialism when they are the biggest beneficiaries of the colonial system. They are having their cake and eating it. After being sponsored by the whites they turned around to blame those who mothered them (colonialists) just because they wanted power. Why did they accept white men's sponsorship if they felt the whites were devils? Zvakafanana nekutuku hama dzakakuchengete kubvira uchiri mudiki, dzichikubikira otendeuka uchiti chikafu chavaikubikira chakange chine chefu nguva yese! Ko waigodyireyi chikafu chawaiziva kuti chine chefu?

Musona - 12 July 2014

The Indians were colonised, Pakistan was colonised, the Koreans were colonised, the Malaysians were colonised but these nations, the Singapore was colonised, Ghana was colonised, Egypt was colonised, Ivory Coast was colonised, Myanmar was colonised, the S Africans were colonised etc etc but these countries don't spend all their time and energy fighting their former colonisers as our politicians do in Zimbabwe. Not a day passes when there is no mention of colonialism. As far as I am concerned colonialism was the biggest and best thing that ever happened to Africa. It looks like our politicians have adopted an extreme stance against colonialism to cover up their past “dalliances” with the whites. Some of their less sophisticated followers quite like to hear their politicians castigating colonialism like people used to do castigating varoyi. It's all very silly and patronising. This is very bad for the young who want to get on with life but keep being reminded of the imaginary evils of colonialism. It lacks class. How can educated people continue to do this?

Musona - 12 July 2014

Poppycock a load of rubbish I say Mr Editor.Whats all this colonial claptrap got to do, with the partisan judge Chinemburu Zibhunu's decision to reverse, the LARGEST thief, in govt, his jail sentence.

Guranyanga - 13 July 2014

It would seem Zanu-PF has done a good job of attributing all our ills to colonialism and whites. And some are still naïve to believe that propaganda, 34 years after independence as they wine and dine with the same people for financial benefit, mostly through corrupt means. The same system got us educated to our current levels, better than most African nations. Let's give credit where it's due, we all benefitted from our colonial masters. let's now develop further on equal footing. And we still them, as clearly going on our own has made us wallow in poverty and stagnation over the past 15 years.

tabonga - 13 July 2014

Very interesting insights from Musona and Xahumba. If only we could have a Zim-African blog and electronic media programme for such insights. There is a lot of misinformation and propaganda from local 'politicians' who use colonialism as an excuse for their ineptitude. These leaders have no clue of running a government except ruining a country.

Nkosi Mambo - 14 July 2014

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Justice Bhunu did right maChef do not deserve jail time, otherwise your patronage subscription/contribution will be comprimised

Mukanya - 15 July 2014

kunzima madoda

kunzima - 17 July 2014

What Msona is saying is exactly what Chitepo knew and was the cause of his demise.He was against the idea of white supremacy and ill-treatment of the majority and at the same time acknowledging the importance of the white settlers .He did not want to expell the whites but wanted to create a multi racial state that would recognise all as equal human being.The Sharks wanted to expropriate and reap what they did not saw,hence his ideas clashed with those responsible for what happened to him.

Slobodan - 18 July 2014

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