Home / Latest News / The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association(ZELA) files a case against #Chinese miners

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association(ZELA) files a case against #Chinese miners

IN THE HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE                                                                              CASENO.HC                                                                                    /20 HELD AT HARARE

In the matter between:

FIDELIS CHIMA                                                                    1ST APPLICANT

ZIMBABWE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ASSOCIATION

2ND APPLICANT

And

ZIMBABWE ZHONGXIN MINING GROUP

TONGMAO COAL COMPANY (PVT) LTD                 1ST RESPONDENT

And

ZIMBABWE MINING DEVELOPMENT

CORPORATION                                                             2ND RESPONDENT

And

MINISTER OF MINES & MINING

DEVELOPMENT                                                             3RD RESPONDENT

And

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCY              4TH RESPONDENT

URGENT CHAMBER APPLICATION

Urgent Application is hereby made for an order in terms of the Draft Order annexed to this application on the grounds that:

  1. The 1st Applicant is a resident of Hwange whose home district is threatened by 1st Respondent`s mining activities inside of Hwange National Park; and
  • 2nd Applicant is an organisation established to pursue the protection of environmental rights including the rights of wildlife, particularly endangered specially protected animal species some of which, in the whole of Zimbabwe, are only found in Hwange;  and
  • In an act of retrospective regularization or inversion of statutory process, 1st Respondent who is a special purpose vehicle for the 2nd Respondent, was granted an Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate on 1st September, 2020 following submission of its application for the same on 7 August, 2020. some nineteen months after the issuance of a Special Grant in favour of the 2nd Respondent by the 3rd Respondent on 22 February, 2019;
  • The issuance of the Special Grant in February 2020 before Environmental Impact Assessment is in violation of section 97 of the Environmental Management Act, [Chapter 20:27] therefore Applicants shall file simultaneously with this Urgent Chamber Application, an application for Review of the 3rd Respondent`s issuance of a Special Grant to 2nd Respondent in February 2019 before Environmental Impact Assessment certification of the project;
  • The park and its wildlife face imminent disruption if not devastation from coalmining activities once exploration and drilling with the attendant water and air pollution commence; and
  • Authorisation of, and commencement of mining in a protected National Park is in breach of the constitutional duty on all Respondents to prevent ecological degradation and promote conservation in terms of section 73(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013; and
  • In terms of a news article of The Guardian of 3 September 2020, the 1st Respondent`s consultant expressed the intention to commence drilling once the Environmental Impact Assessment certification is obtained. The certification was obtained on 1 September, 2020; and
  • Inevitably, Hwange National Park shall consequently, within the immediately forthcoming period become a site for drilling, land clearance, road building and geological surveys at two proposed sites inside of the National Park;
  • Concomitantly there is acute risk of irreversible ecological degradation including unmitigated loss of animal and vegetative species, reduction of animal habitats of many rare species including black rhino, pangolin, elephant, and wild (painted) dogs;
  1. Already, loss of both human and animal life has occurred as a direct result of the inevitable emigration from the National Park by the various animal species fleeing their former habitat;
  1. In turn, safari tourism, an ecologically sustainable use of the resource, which is a vital source of income for the local people will be destroyed as the world`s largest natural mammal colony shall be ruined;
  1. Since drilling and other land-stripping activity is imminent, the Applicants have been prompted to urgently seek this Honourable Court’s intervention to interdict the 1st, and 2nd Respondents from causing the ruination of the once pristine Hwange National Park which hitherto, as a specially protected wildlife and heritage site, has been under consideration for the five nation Kavango- Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The accompanying affidavit(s) and document(s) are tendered in support of the application.

If you intend to oppose this application, you have to file your notice of opposition. You will have to file a Notice of Opposition in Form No. 29A, together with one or more opposing affidavits, with the Registrar of the High Court. You will also have to serve a copy of the Notice of Opposition and affidavit/s on the applicants at the address for service specified below. Your affidavits may have annexed to them documents verifying the facts set out in the affidavits.

If you do not file an opposing affidavit, this application will be set down for hearing in the High Court at Harare without further notice to you and will be dealt with as an unopposed application.

DATED AT HARARE THIS 6TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2020

TO:             THE REGISTRAR

High Court of Zimbabwe

HARARE

ZIMBABWE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

ASSOCIATION

Applicants’ Legal Practitioners

26B Seke Road,

Hatfield,

HARARE (Mr. Ncube)

And To:     ZIMBABWE ZHONGXIN MINING GROUP

TONGMAO COAL COMPANY (PVT) LTD

1ST Respondent 17777 Tredgold Road, Belvedere,

HARARE

AND TO:    ZIMBABWE MINING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

2nd Respondent MMCZ Building 90 Mutare Road, Msasa, HARARE

AND TO:    MINISTER OF MINES & MINING DEVELOPMENT

3rd Respondent

ZIMRE Complex,

Corner Leopold Takawira & Kwame Nkrumah Avenue,

HARARE

AND TO:    ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCY

4th Respondent

685/6 Lorraine|Faber Drive, Bluffhill,

HARARE

The story as profiled by the media

https://www.voanews.com/africa/zimbabwe-bans-mining-national-parks-after-uproar-over-chinese-grants
https://iharare.com/chinese-taken-to-court-over-mining-in-zimbabwes-biggest-game-reserve/
https://www.newzimbabwe.com/court-battle-looms-over-coal-mining-at-hwange-national-park/
https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20200905-illegal-gold-rush-threatens-wildlife-in-pristine-zimbabwe-chimanimani-national-park-mozambique

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54085549

https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/africa/2020-09-07-court-battle-looms-over-coal-mining-at-hwange-national-park/
https://www.zmescience.com/science/zimbabwe-bans-mining-in-national-parks-to-protect-endangered-wildlife/
https://www.news24.com/fin24/economy/africa/zimbabwe-gives-coal-miners-concessions-in-national-park-20200908
https://qz.com/africa/1899381/zimbabwe-okay-chinese-coal-mining-in-hwange-park-as-elephants-die/#:~:text=Zimbabwe%20is%20risking%20the%20environment,in%20the%20Hwange%20National%20Park.
https://chinaafricaproject.com/2020/09/10/zimbabwe-government-responds-to-public-outrage-over-chinese-coal-mining-in-hwange-national-park/
https://263chat.com/zela-files-court-challenge-against-coal-mining-inside-hwange-national-park/

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