By Court Reporter
FORMER Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa and his then secretary Francis Gudyaga are set to go on trial next month at the anti-corruption court in Harare over a murky mining deal.
Chidhakwa and Gudyanga were recently advised of the September 11 trial date by Harare magistrate Milton Serima.
The two are also on trial for allegedly abusing their powers as public officers when they reportedly sanctioned a one-man board for the ministry. They are out on $800 bail.
Prosecuting in the mining case, Sebastian Mutizirwa claimed that in May 2015, Gudyanga, received appeal correspondence from one Ronald Mugangavari against a determination by the provincial mining commissioners for Masvingo and Midlands – one Phiri and a Pasikwavaviri respectively – over a claim ownership case.
The appeal was in connection with a mining claim ownership dispute between Midway 21 Gold Mine, owned by K & G Syndicate represented by Hebert Hwekwete, and Clifton 15 Mine owned by Mugangavari.
The dispute allegedly involved issues to do with the mine boundaries.
Chidhakwa and Gudyanga, acting in common purpose and with full knowledge that they did not have jurisdiction to deal with such an appeal, allegedly nullified the determination in favour of Mugangavari.
The court heard that according to the Mines and Mining Act, appeals against a determination by a mining commissioner are handled by the High Court.
The alleged unlawful decision by Chidhakwa and Gudyanga on the appeal resulted in Mugangavari unlawfully returning to the mine to continue operating.
On July 4 last year, Mugangavari allegedly attempted to kill Hwekwete, the co-owner of K & G Syndicate, when he shot him together with his cousin, Robert.
The shooting, the court heard, took place after the two had visited the mine.
Mugangavari allegedly continued to deny the rightful owners access to the mine on the basis of the determination by Chidhakwa and Gudyanga.