Mugabe sues Zimplats

Harare – President Robert Mugabe is reportedly suing Zimplats for objecting to the government’s intended compulsory acquisition of 28 000 hectares of mining land in Kadoma, held by Zimplats Holdings Limited.

According to The Herald, Mugabe reportedly filed an application at the Administrative Court seeking confirmation of the compulsory acquisition of the underutilised mining land.

The land, which is held by Zimplats under a special mining lease, has been lying idle for years and government intends to acquire and reallocate it to prospective miners who are keen on extracting platinum for the country’s economic growth.

“The President, in his official capacity, seeks to acquire the land” in terms of the Land Acquisition Act as read with the relevant section of the Mines and Minerals Act, part of the court application said.

“The land to be acquired will allow for the immediate entry of new players into the platinum sector.”

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.

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The mining company objected to the compulsory acquisition on May 7 the same year, in terms of the Land Acquisition Act.

Mugabe is reported to have resorted to the courts after the minister of mines engaged Zimplats for a roundtable meeting but failed to reach an agreement.

Zimplats – listed in Australia and majority-owned by South African-based Impala Platinum (Implats) [JSE:IMP] – holds a special mining lease over two areas in the country totalling 48 535ha in extent.

Back in 2013, both Implats and Zimplats said they were taking  legal advice to protect their rights.

The company has since filed opposing papers to the latest development, urging the courts to throw it away on a technicality.