Villagers fight ‘violent’ Zanu PF MP in court

According to court papers, sometime in 2023 Zhou obtained a prospecting licence under the name Kubatana Mining Syndicate.

Zanu PF Mberengwa North legislator Tinashe Shumba has been taken to court after he tried to evict villagers from their ancestral lands to pave way for his gold mining activities.

The villagers, led by John Dube and Itai Zhou, cited Kubatana mining Syndicate represented by Shumba, the Mines and Mining Development ministry as well as the officer in charge of police's Central Investigations Department’s minerals section in Zvishavane as respondents in the case.

According to court papers, sometime in 2023 Zhou obtained a prospecting licence under the name Kubatana Mining Syndicate.

Dube submitted that around March 27 to 29 this year, Shumba and his associates invaded their plot and grazing lands prospecting for gold.

Shumba then boasted that he was so powerful that he was untouchable, Dube alleged.

"Realising the seriousness of these threats and the activities, which were underway and our absolute lack of protection from such forceful threats and intrusions I sent Zhou and his son Tatenda Zhou to the police (third respondent) to report these developments and they did so,” Dube submitted.

“At the police station the officials contacted Shumba and he admitted to be the one undertaking these intrusions and upon being asked to come to the police station he chose to send his manager, who in no time was at the police station.”

He submitted that police instructed Shumba to stop the mining operations, but he refused resulting in the case spilling into the courts.

“Surprisingly, Shumba’s menacing team has remained operating in our homestead heavily armed and threatening to harm anyone who interferes with their mining activities in our fields and homestead,” he said.

Dube said he is a holder of a valid settlement permit LSCFA/0230780 of stand number 209 under Chief Maziofa situated at Zhou's homestead.

The permit was issued on July 13, 2009 and has 15 hectares of arable land issued in terms of the Mberengwa Rural District’s Council Settlement Permits, 2006.

Dube has lived together with Zhou and at least 17 family members since then.

In his application, Dube sought an interdict against Shumba's mining operations at his property.

“Attempts at engagement by the applicants cited herein have been futile and instead Shumba has resorted to employing violence, influence, force, intimidations and harassment to my family,” he said.

“I have a right to property and protection of the law.

“No-one is above the law and Shumba has a duty to respect mining laws.

“l have constitutional rights that ought to be respected, protected and preserved.

“Shumba's actions amount to self-help and taking the law into his own hand.”

He said his family members now live in fear of Shumba and his associates.

“Some of the armed personnel have been roaming around my property in an intimidating fashion threatening my family with all sorts of harm if we interfere with their operation,” he said.

"As we speak Shumba and his agents are gathering ore and causing untoward damage on my land without my consent and at my loss.

“l am indisposed and generally unwell and of fairly advanced age, hence l have always tasked Zhou and his son Tatenda to run the operations at the homestead."

Masvingo High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze granted the provisional order in favour of Dube and Zhou, which stopped the mining operations pending hearing.

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