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Matutu elbowed out of mine – Zimbabwe Independent

TINASHE MAKICHI
FORMER Zanu PF youth leader Lewis Matutu has been elbowed out of the late business tycoon John Bredenkamp’s gold-rich Thetford Estate in Mazowe, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

This comes after a fierce fight for control between Matutu, through a mining consortium, Yamatsanga Mining, and the late Bredenkamp’s son Gavin.

The mining consortium was granted mining rights in the middle of Bredenkamp’s 1 500ha Thetford Estate in Mazowe in February 2020, while Gavin Bredenkamp was allocated the farm in the same year, following the death of his father.

There are indications that Matutu was frustrated through various legal battles, which culminated in the expiry of the consortium’s mining grant. This saw Matutu being elbowed out of the mining area as he failed to renew the mining grant.

“There were serious delaying tactics which played out until Matutu lost rights to mine in the area. This is a gold-rich mining claim and Matutu was frustrated out of the area,” a source privy to the developments said.

“Renewing the mining grant is now proving to be a challenge as some political bigwigs are now targeting the same mining area.” When contacted for comment, Gavin Bredenkamp dropped the call the moment the reporter introduced himself.

Matutu’s mobile number was not available. But there are indications that some bigwigs in Zanu PF and government have expressed interest in taking over the mining concessions. Another source said political heavyweights are aware that Matutu was no longer as powerful as before, hence the stampede for the concessions.

Thetford Farm has been subject to contestation.

Last year, the late farmer’s wife, Jennifer Bredenkamp, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court to stop her son, Gavin, from taking ownership of the family’s farm. The case was filed under Case Number HC 132/21. Jennifer Bredenkamp and five other applicants were being represented by Atherstone and Cook, while Gavin Bredenkamp was represented by Titan Law. The application by Jennifer was seeking protection and an interdict on Gavin and the Ministry of Lands from interfering with rights and freedoms until a final decision had been made by the courts.

This came after a vicious fight had continued to play out within the tycoon’s family, which saw Gavin evicting his mother and siblings from the farm.

Court documents say in 2000, John Bredenkamp settled at Thetford Farm but shortly thereafter the farm was listed as state land by the government.

The Bredenkamp family objected to that listing and requested the government to allow the family to continue residing and operating the farm. The government did not issue an offer letter in the family’s name that allowed the Bredenkamps to utilise the land for 20 years, that is, between 2000 and 2020.

In January 2021, Gavin informed Jennifer that an offer letter had been issued in his favour by the Minister of Lands. He demanded that his two sisters and other employees immediately vacate.

Thereafter, Gavin’s lawyers issued a three months’ notice for them to vacate the farm.

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Business

China's Huayou Cobalt to invest $300 million in Zimbabwe lithium mine – CNA

HARARE : China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt plans to invest $300 million on rapid development of a lithium mine and processing plant at its newly acquired Arcadia project in Zimbabwe, according to company documents seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Huayou, one of the world’s biggest producers of cobalt, recently completed a $422 million purchase of the hard-rock lithium mine just outside Harare from Australia-listed Prospect Resources and other Zimbabwean minorities.

“We intend to develop the project rapidly over the next year and invest around $300 million to develop the mine and construct a process plant with a capacity to treat around 4.5 million tonnes of ore and produce 400,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum,” Huayou subsidiary Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe said in an update on the project.

The Arcadia project is expected to deliver its first batch of lithium-bearing minerals spodumene and petalite in 2023, the company said.

Lithium prices have soared this year as carmakers have struggled to source the metal used in electric vehicle batteries.

Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe said it would employ 600 locals during the construction phase, with up to 900 jobs being created when production begins.

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Business

Trouble in paradise; murder claims, racism claims rock Borrowdale Brooke – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Mary Taruvinga


GLIDING through the smooth roads lined with a fusion of indigenous and exotic trees marching virtually without interlude but for the occasional glamorous, plush homes, any first timer to this exquisite and serene neighbourhood is left in awe.

It is not the sort of neighbourhood you can stray into.

Many of the homes on narrow, winding streets of this gentrified suburb are occupied by the country’s rich and famous, who have taken the unusual step of obtaining city permits to remove the streets in their neighborhood from public use and shouldering huge sums of money to install electronic barriers.

The residents say that they want to protect themselves from traffic, crime and transients from poor communities.

This is not just not another suburb; this is Borrowdale Brooke – where only the richest of the land reside.

It is ideally a verdant, tranquil environ where residents co-exist in utmost serenity, but it has recently experienced some massive turbulence resembling the ghetto.

It all started when businessman Shingi Munyeza, chairperson of the Borrowdale Brooke HomeOwners Association (BBHOA) decided to punish the effervescent Gokwe Nembudziya legislator, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, for violating the peace that these people sought to enjoy by cutting themselves off from everyone.

Wadyajena, Munyeza and Co. claimed, rolled down the streets in a thunderous vehicle dead at night and roamed on those boulevards for two good hours.

The association did not waste time to act. It deactivated his access codes once the sun had risen and relegated him to the visitors lane.

Wadyajena sought legal recourse, demanding immediate restoration of his codes and describing as humiliating his relegation to the outer lane.

It actually turned out that the lane is as smooth as any other road here and people in places like Highfield would appreciate one half as good in their area.

The youthful legislator easily won the case at the High Court, which ruled the association simply had no case.

Another case soon followed. The association had barred Wadyajena’s construction workers from accessing the area. Again, he won it.

The story does not end there. Last Friday, Wadyajena wrote to Munyeza, not sparing the tongue lash he is accustomed to.

He declared all this was a case of political persecution and racism.

He claimed Munyeza was not is own man, but was doing the bidding for and on behalf of white people who live there.

Shingi Munyeza

Wadyajena said him and Munyeza have a well documented rivalry which has dragged on for three good years. Over what, he did not state.

“I have been falsely accused of murder, my wife was falsely accused of attempted murder, my brother was physically attacked by Brooke management, you unlawfully barred me accessi to my properties, I have been falsely accused of defacing Brooke property and I have been falsely accused of racing my vehicles on Brooke property,” Wadyajena said.

Wadyajena said he has not known peace in this paradise.

The legislator claimed that he had an unpleasant visit by heavily armed detectives from the homicide department, who raided his house following a ‘misguided’ tipoff by the Brooke management in which he was erroneously cited as the key suspect in the murder of one Nancy Duncan who stayed in the Sun River Manor, a private gated compound.

“This was a disturbing and malicious attempt to connect me and my family to a supposed crime that we had absolutely no knowledge of. Of course, this turned out to be complete, trumped-up nonsense, but the egregiousness of the accusation cannot be overstated and constitutes a serious disregard of the personal safety and dignity of all of us; but, falsely pegging me and other members of my family for murder seems to be a Brooke Association pastime,” he said.

He added that the Brooke management needlessly denied him permission to proceed with his ongoing construction projects on the pretense of an inspection, yet they had copies of his approved plans and was bent on frustrating him.

Wadyajena said going forward, it will not be business as usual.

“Dr. Munyeza, while I have tried to believe that this constant dance between murder, illegal construction, and noise allegations is not of a personal nature, all indications are that I am a target, and that deliberate actions have been taken to silence me, to paint me as an ‘undesirable neighbor ‘and ultimately to hound me out of The Brooke,” he said.

“Some known residents have faced very similar kinds of blatant persecution and eventually left The Brooke, but I am not most people, and I am not for turning,” he dared Munyeza.

“It is clear that the published lies are intended to create the perception of me as uncooperative in the eyes of the public audience that you have invited to these matters. However, make no mistake, I am prepared to take whatever comes at me head on and fortunately, I do not require the attention or acceptance from certain quarters of society and I am not at all reliant on the public gaze to validate my sense of right and wrong.”

He summed up his love letter to Munyeza with quite a sumptuous punchline: “I want to assure you, Mr. Chairman, that while I may be from Gokwe – and extremely proud of it – I am going nowhere.”

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Zimbabwe is Asking the World to Let it Sell $600 Million in Black Market Ivory – The Motley Fool

Last week, in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, diplomats from the US, EU, UK, and Canada were led on a tour of heavily fortified vaults secured by armed guards. What was inside? Contraband.

On Monday, the Zimbabwean government launched a conference aimed at swaying the international community into letting it sell $600 million worth of ivory confiscated from poachers and criminal organizations. To some, saying yes would be tantamount to greenlighting more crimes.

Tickling the Wrong Piano Keys

The commercial trade of new ivory was banned in 1989 through amendments to the global Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). A subsequent rebound in Zimbabwe’s elephant population heralded a stunning conservation success: the country’s 100,000-strong herd is growing 5% to 8% every year.

But that victory has created a cohabitation problem. Sixty people have been killed by elephants in Zimbabwe so far this year. The animals devour and destroy field crops and, in some cases, have even moved into homesteads, forcing poor people in rural areas to relocate. That’s why Zimbabwe is asking to sell its accumulated contraband:

  • The government says it’s lost almost all tourist revenue due to the pandemic, and needs the $600 million to manage the growing elephant population and keep fighting poachers. There’s precedent: in 1997 and 2008, special exemptions were granted to African countries to sell their ivory stocks to Japan and China.
  • The African Elephant Coalition, a group of 32 countries with fewer elephants than Zimbabwe, is opposed to the idea, as are conservation groups. They claim previous exemptions led to more poaching, stoking the $20 billion illegal wildlife trade, one of the world’s most lucrative illicit markets, per the United Nations Environment Programme.

Zimbabwe’s three-day conference is hosting 16 African countries, Japan, and China. Officials hope for enough momentum to secure formal approval from the international community.

Healthy Appetite: Adult elephants consume up to 600 pounds of vegetation daily. Try growing a vegetable garden and having an eater like that for a neighbor.

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