Court gives govt diamond miner ultimatum

This comes after Grandwell, which owns 50 percent shareholding in Mbada Diamonds (Mbada), rushed back to court with an urgent chamber application seeking that ZCDC complies with High Court judge Amie Tsanga’s February 24 order.

In the application, Grandwell — represented by Sternford Moyo from Scanlen & Holderness — cited ZCDC, police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and Mbada as respondents.

“It is ordered that: pending the appeal filed by the first respondent (ZCDC) under case number SC 159/2017, the first and second respondents (Chihuri) and those acting on their behalf be and are hereby interdicted from collecting from third respondent’s (Mbada) concession area, diamond ore mined by the third respondent, accessing areas secured by security personnel of the third respondent or otherwise interfering in any manner with such security arrangements in relation to the said concession area as per interim relief granted by this honourable court on the 24th of February 2017.

“Should the first and second respondents fail to comply with paragraph one above and to purge their failure to comply with the interim order granted by Justice Tsanga on the 24th of February 2017 under case number 1290/17, they shall be denied audience before this honourable court and any papers filed by them shall be struck out of the record,” the court ruled on Tuesday.

Mbada is among one of the companies that were forced to leave the diamond-rich Chiadzwa fields by the government early last year, to pave way for ZCDC’s establishment.

However, the firm was granted a court order allowing its security personnel to return to Chiadzwa and secure its equipment, diamond ore and unprocessed diamonds kept in a vault.

It later filed a successful urgent chamber application for spoliation, which resulted in an order against ZCDC to stop looting its diamond ore with the assistance of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

However, in its latest application, Grandwell argued that ZCDC is in contempt of the previous court order, adding that the matter should be addressed urgently.

“The first and second respondents’ conduct constitutes complete disregard and contempt of an order made by this honourable court. Everyday that passes with continuation of such conduct has serious negative consequences on the administration of justice and the reputation and authority of our courts,” Mbada security manager Donald Dube said in an affidavit.

He said in light of the fact that ZCDC is a newly-formed company with no assets; it would not be in a position to replace any damages or losses incurred on Grandwell’s property.

“It (ZCDC) is a company facing severe operational difficulties. It has not been able to produce any significant diamonds. The 1st chief executive officer was dismissed within three months of commencement of his duties as chief executive officer. The current chief executive officer is acting and has been subjected to severe criticism by a committee of Parliament,” Dube said.

He said the mining area has been invaded by artisanal miners and that there is uncontrolled theft of diamond ore, diamonds and other property also taking place at the mining site.

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