THE officer commanding police in the Midlands Province, Assistant Commissioner Shadreck Mubaiwa, has been brought before the High Court for allegedly refusing to enforce a court order in a mining dispute.
In an urgent chamber application (HC2579) at the Bulawayo High Court, Senzeni Mukungurutse accused the top cop and his commanders of failing to enforce a court order issued by judge Justice Martin Makonese on October 3.
High Court order 0039864, interdicted Alice, Albert and Elvis Watadza from mining activities at Nothampton 51 mining claim in Gweru to allow Mukungurutse or her agents to operate the claim.
Mukungurutse alleges the police led by Mubaiwa are sympathetic to Watadza and have blocked her from taking over the disputed gold mine.
“We served a copy of the order to the police at Gweru Rural, however, the police officer one Sergeant Zhou who was at the station openly indicated that there were superior forces within the police who would not allow the order to be observed,” part of her application reads.
“I was totally surprised by the attitude exhibited by the police. Instead of them upholding the law and orders of the court, they are doing the opposite. Their conduct of not allowing me to execute an order I obtained from this honourable court is not only illegal, but also highly contemptuous of the court,” she further submitted.
Her lawyer Valentine Mutatu also submitted a supporting affidavit in the application against the police alleging that Alice called a senior police officer under Mubaiwa’s charge just as he was serving them with the court order.
“In my presence Alice immediately phoned a senior officer in Gweru who assured her that my client was not going to be allowed to resume operations at the mine. With that I realised that the Watadzas were working in cahoots with some police officers to deprive applicant mining rights at her mine,” Mutatu wrote.
“I was totally surprised by the conduct of the police officers in disregarding court orders which they have a constitutional mandate to uphold and obey.
“I have a strong suspicion that they are protecting the Watadzas, who all along were illegally mining at the applicant’s mine,” Matutu’s supporting affidavit reads.