By Mary Taruvinga
HOME Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga have been slapped with a US$1 169 899 lawsuit after they allegedly barred one Francis Mazarura from accessing his gold mine, Litalute Gold Mine, for two years.
Mazarura has filed a lawsuit against the two at the High Court claiming that his mine was put under siege for two years by the police who only left the site, late last year.
He said during that time, he failed to mine and make profit adding some of his equipment was now missing or was vandalised despite police details guarding the mine 24 hours a day.
“Despite the fact that the police were present on the mine, they could not protect the plaintiff’s property from being stolen,” Mazarura says in his High Court application.
“As a result of the continuous deprivation of access to the mine it became prone to the extreme changes in weather patterns resulting in extensive damage on the mining shafts and surrounding mining equipment not to mention missing items that have never been recovered. The total value of the mentioned actual loss amounts to US$68 157,” reads part of the summons.
Mazarura said on March 24 2017, unidentified police officers displaced Mazarura and his workers from the mine. He also accused the police of vandalising some of the property at the mine.
According to Mazarura, the police took charge of the gold mine and placed it under surveillance from March 24 2017 to late 2019.
He said no one was allowed access to the mine during this period and Mazarura had to seek clearance from the officer-in-charge of Mazowe Police Station to collect some of his personal belongings.
He said late last year, police moved out of the mine, but no official communication was made to him and Mazarura only stumbled upon this information from a third party.
He then went to the mine only to discover that some of his equipment had been removed while some had been vandalised due to lack of maintenance while shafts were filled up with dirt.
Mazarura said he would have realised US$616 000 if the mine had been successfully carrying out operations for the period it was under siege and now needed US$483 743 to refurbish it and resume operations.
In total, he demanded US$1 169 900 from Kazembe and Matanga.
The case is yet to be heard.