Mugabe Faces Zimplats In Court

Mugabe Faces Zimplats In Court
Published: 2016 July 12 05:37:38 (3666 Views)
Zimplats has been dragged to court by President Robert Mugabe seeking confirmation of the compulsory acquisition of the unutilised 28,000 hectares of mining land in Kadoma, held by Zimplats Holdings Limited.

The land, which is held by Zimplats under Special Mining Lease number 1, has been lying idle for years and Government intends to acquire it and re-allocate it to prospective miners who are keen on extracting platinum for the country’s economic growth.

President Mugabe, in his official capacity, seeks to acquire the land in terms of Section 7(1) of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) as read with Section 398(1) of the Mines and Minerals Act.

The Civil Division of the Attorney General’s office filed the application on behalf of the President.

A notice to acquire the land was published in the Government Gazette of April 26, 2013, and Zimplats was served with the notice.

The mining company objected to the compulsory acquisition on May 7 the same year, in terms of Section 5 (i) (a) (iii) A of the Land Acquisition Act.

The Minister of Mines engaged Zimplats for a roundtable meeting but they reached a deadlock, prompting the President to approach the court.

In the recent application for authority to acquire the land, filed under Administrative Court number LA13/16, the President said he has the power to compulsorily acquire the land from Zimplats despite the existence of a lease agreement.

“The right conferred to an applicant under a Special Mining Lease can, however, be compulsorily acquired by me as the President of Zimbabwe for a purpose beneficial to the public generally in terms of Section 398(1) of the Mines Act,” said the President.

President Mugabe said the acquisition of the land will introduce new mining players for the broad benefit of the masses.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa also deposed an affidavit supporting the President’s application.

The company argued that Government lawyers wrongly served the court application at the offices of Zimbabwe Mines (Private) Limited when the respondent was Zimplats Holdings. It is the respondent’s argument that the application was served on a company that is not a party to the proceedings and that the application must be dismissed.

The company argued that the application was also defective in the sense that it failed to cite Zimbabwe Platinum Mine (Private) Limited as a respondent. Zimplats Holdings, according to the respondent, was a shareholder in Zimbabwe Platinum Mine (Private) Limited.

The company also seeks the dismissal of the application because the notices for compulsory acquisition relied upon, wrongly states the holding company as the one that was holding the land under the Special Mining Lease.

The company also challenges the application on the basis that the size of the land to be acquired compulsorily was not correct.



- Chronicle
Tags: Mugabe, Zimplats, court, land, ,
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