MAZOWE small-scale gold miners Shephard Nyazvigo and Phillip Makanya have lost a court case in which they were demanding $100 000 compensation from former First Lady Grace Mugabe, claiming she allegedly labelled them thieves, who wanted to wrest a citrus plantation from her.
In a ruling by High Court judge Justice David Mangota dated March 1, 2019, Nyazvigo and Makanya were ordered to meet the lawsuit costs.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed and hearing counsel, it is ordered that application for the upliftment of bar is refused. The defendant’s excerption be and hereby allowed with costs on a legal practitioner and client scale and the plaintiff’s claims is dismissed,” part of the judgment read.
The two approached the court in May last year, demanding $100 000 from Grace for defamation.
In their joint declaration, Nyazvigo and Makanya said they were the registered owners of a mining syndicate being Mondo 4, situated inside Grace’s Smithfield Farm.
The two said on April 2, 2018, Grace uttered words, publicised in a local paper, that they were illegal miners who had invaded her farm and were unlawfully carrying out mining operations thereon and also destroying her lemon fruit trees.
They claimed Grace labelled them illegal miners who stole her property and described them as thieves, stealing from her farm.
The also two claimed Grace’s utterances painted them in bad light and projected them as lawless people involved in illegal mining activities on her property.
The two miners added they had suffered irreparable damage to their character as a result of the utterances by Grace, which were publicised in a local newspaper.
Grace was represented by Chivore Dzingirai Group of Lawyers.