By Crime and Court Reporter
Local chrome smelting giant, Afrochine Smelting Private Limited has approached the High Court, suing Earthlink Minerals Private.
EarthLink is reportedly to have carried out mining operations in Mavhuradonha Wilderness in Muzarabani District, Mashonaland Central Province.
Earthlink and Mines Minister Winstone Chitando are first and second respondents.
Chitando was challenged to tell the court the truth regarding ownership of the controversial mining site.
In its urgent court application, Afrochine is seeking an order barring Earthlink from mining its chrome in the wilderness and that it is also declared the rightful owner of the claim by the court.
“This is an urgent chamber application to stop Earthlink from carrying out mining activities at Makura 100 and Makura E and D, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Reserve, Muzarabani District in Mashonaland Central,” said the founding affidavit filed on behalf of the company, Qedisani Mlambo.
Mlambo said Afrochine was granted mining rights for the claims above but has not commenced mining.
“What is disturbing to the applicant is that the respondent purported to be Afrochine Smelting and they gained access to the Wilderness reserve without proper consultation with the local leadership.
“Respondents’ actions are unsustainable in that they are alleged to have destroyed the national heritage site in the Mavhuradonha Wilderness Reserve if news reports are anything to go by.
“Further local people’s livelihoods have been affected heavily by the actions of the respondent in that water bodies have drained and their grazing lands taken away from them,” he said.
Mlambo said, “Further respondents’ actions have been extensively reported by all sections of the media hence causing media backlash not only of the applicant but the
whole Chinese community in the country.”
“This is a clear case of mistaken identity where Earthlink actions are attributed to the applicant because the mining location in question is owned by the applicant.”
Afrochine complained that Earthlink has apparently done nothing to dissociate itself from the applicant when allegations of unsustainable and harmful mining arose.
“There has been a backlash as a result of respondent’s mining activities on the applicant’s mining location,” he said.
“These have a negative impact on the Chinese community in Zimbabwe as reports claim that they are destroying the environment and yet the actions complained of are not those of the applicant.”
Earthlink has been mining claim since July 24 this year.