Mines and Minerals Development minister Amos Midzi has conceded in court that he violated the law when he cancelled Bubye Minerals (Pvt) Ltd’s claim at River Ranch, a diamond mine located in Beitbridge.
High Court judge Law
rence Kamocha reserved judgment in the matter on Tuesday in a matter in which Bubye Minerals is declaring the cancellation null and void.
“I agree that in cancelling the concession I failed to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Justice Act,” Midzi said in his opposing affidavit submitted to the court.
The minister and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe are the first and second respondents while the Masvingo mining commissioner and River Ranch Ltd are third and fourth respondents respectively.
Bubye Minerals, the sole applicant, had argued that it had not been presented with an opportunity to provide its views or objections prior to the cancellation.
Midzi said in cancelling the special grant he intended to correct a January 2005 error by the Mining Affairs Board that ceded the special grant to Bubye Minerals.
He said River Ranch Ltd, the original holders of the grant, had not applied for such a development as required.
In his submission to the court Bubye Minerals lawyer Terrence Hussein said Midzi had accepted that his decision was wrong and therefore until and unless the cancellation is done by the court the grant remains in their hands.
But River Ranch lawyer and former director with the same company, Adrian de Bourbon, said when the Mining Affairs Board had transferred the grant to Bubye Minerals in January 2005 it had also violated the Administrative Justice Act as his clients were not consulted.
He said because River Ranch had never ceded or transferred the special grant it remains in its hands.
“The effect was the same. A decision was reached which was a nullity, a series of illegalities which must be treated as nullities,” de Bourbon said. — Staff Writer.