(1) BASE MINERALS ZIMBABWE (PRIVATE) LIMITED
(2) PETER VALENTINE (3) MUYENGWA MOTSI
MABWE MINERALS (PRIVATE) LIMITED
SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE
ZIYAMBI JA, GWAUNZA JA & BERE AJA
HARARE, JULY 15, 2014
F.M. Katsande, for the appellants
Mawere & Sibanda, for the respondent
GWAUNZA JA: At the end of the hearing in this matter, we dismissed the appeal and indicated that full reasons for the decision would follow. These are the reasons.
At the centre of this drawn out, highly contested and multifaceted dispute are certain mining claims cumulatively styled “Dodge” Mine.
The rights of various parties to the mining claims or part thereof have either been determined or are still pending in the High Court. It is pertinent to note that the claims brought before the High Court over the years, and dealing with different facets of the main dispute have not all been between the same parties as those in casu. Details of these claims are not relevant to a determination of this matter and will not further be considered.
What is relevant to this dispute is set out in the judgment of the High Court and is reproduced here for convenience.
Against the background of a dispute of rights in the same mine, between the second appellant as a 50 per cent shareholder in Chiroswa Minerals (Private) Limited and a certain John Richard Grooves (‘Grooves’) as shareholder of the other 50 per cent, the latter purported to sell the entire shareholding of Dodge Mine (Chiroswa Syndicate) to the respondent in casu. This was on 31 July 2012. The disputed mining claims had by this time assumed the name Chiroswa Syndicate. The second appellant took the view that he had been defrauded of his 50 per cent shareholding, and challenged the sale in HC 4112/13. The case was still pending before that court at the time the proceedings a quo were concluded. The learned judge in casu correctly did not delve into the merits or demerits of this dispute of ownership.
In addition to this dispute, Grooves was embroiled in earlier disputes with two other entities with whom he had previously entered into tribute agreements in relation to the same mining claims. He was at that time the sole shareholder in Chiroswa Minerals (Private) Limited. The latter dispute ended with an order of the High Court in HH 261/11 to the effect among other things, that the tribute agreement between Grooves and the second appellant be registered with the Mining Commissioner. The registration was eventually effected on 13 February 2014. This was after a number of other claims, counter claims and an aborted appeal to this court had been filed and/or determined.