Court gives govt diamond miner ultimatum

Source: Court gives govt diamond miner ultimatum – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      27 April 2017

HARARE – The High Court has given the government-owned Zimbabwe
Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) an ultimatum to comply with an order
stopping it from looting Grandwell Holdings (Grandwell)’s mining ore in
the Chiadzwa mining fields.

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

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

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

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.