Booted diamond firms’ court action imperils jobs

Source: Booted diamond firms’ court action imperils jobs – DailyNews Live

Bernard Chiketo  29 July 2017

MUTARE – Over 1 500 workers who were employed by Mbada Diamonds, Jinan
and Anjin remain jobless as Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC)
fears being held in contempt of court if it employs them before the
companies’ court action is finalised.

The firms sued government for breach of contract after government banned
gem mining in the east of the country by private players, with the
State-owned ZMDC taking over the operations.

This was after Mines minister Walter Chidakwa in February last year
ordered nine companies operating in the Marange fields to stop all mining
activities and leave immediately because their licences had expired.

Chidakwa told Chiadzwa residents this week that ZCDC could not engage
employees under companies currently locked in a legal wrangle with

“I can’t employ you because I will be held in contempt of court by Mbada
Diamonds as their case is still pending in the courts…

“There is an instruction to start to reemploy all former diamond company
employees as they are not the ones in the wrong but their directors,”
Chidakwa said.

He said they were also unable to mine in the companies’ concessions until
the matter is concluded.

“DMC (Diamond Mining Company) offered government to take over their mines,
the same we did with the Russians. But Mbada, Anjin and Jinan decided to
go to court. Our hope is that the end of their cases will allow us to mine
in their concessions,” Chidakwa said.

He said Harare’s decision was not negotiable.

“I knew that once I said stop mining it would cost our people – over 3 000
people jobs, it was a sacrifice worth taking,” the minister said.

President Robert Mugabe has claimed that diamonds worth more than $15
billion were looted in the eastern mining area of Marange.

Speaking in a 92nd birthday interview on State-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation TV, Mugabe said Treasury received less than $2 billion.

Chidakwa has previously stated that the amount which reached the public
purse was $600 million.