MBADA Diamonds shareholder Grandwell Holdings has accused Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa of lying to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme that legal disputes pertaining to the forced consolidation of diamond mining companies has now been settled.
By Charles Laiton
This was revealed by Mbada Diamonds’ security manager Donald Dube, in his founding affidavit in an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court by Grandwell on Friday last week seeking an order to compel the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri to comply with court orders granted by the court in February this year.
The High Court in February ordered ZCDC to allow Mbada’s security access to the company’s diamond ore. The court also ordered ZCDC to stop looting Mbada’s ore. Mbada’s concession is being guarded by the police.
Part of the interim relief which Dube is seeking reads: “Notwithstanding any appeal filed or which may be filed by the first and second respondents (ZCDC and Chihuri), the first and second respondents and those acting on their behalf be and are hereby interdicted from collecting, from the third respondent’s (Mbada Diamonds) concession area, diamond ore mined by the third respondent, accessing areas secured by 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.”
Dube said he had been forced to approach the court seeking enforcement of the court orders after realising that ZCDC and Chihuri were continuing to disregard the court orders by filing appeals in a bid to afford the government time to continue looting Mbada’s ore in Chiadzwa.
“Instead of complying with orders of this honourable court, the respondents, through the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Walter Chidhakwa, trivialised the court orders and the appeals pending before the Supreme Court by falsely announcing, before an international forum the Kimberley Process that all the legal matters had been settled,” Dube said.
“In so doing, both the respondents and the minister treated orders made by this honourable court and legal process before this honourable court and the Supreme Court, as being of no consequence.”
Dube further said the continued refusal by government to allow Mbada’s security personnel to safeguard its diamond ore in Chiadzwa and the perpetual alleged theft of diamond ore by the government’s controlled entity, was a cause for concern for the former government’s mining partner.
In his founding affidavit Dube said Grandwell obtained a judgement against ZCDC and Chihuri barring them from collecting diamond ore from Mbada’s concession area and from interfering in any manner with its security arrangements thereon, but ZCDC noted an appeal against the judgement on March 17, 2017.
“On 25 April 2017 the applicant (Grandwell) obtained leave of this court to execute the interim relief granted by it on the 24th of February 2017 pending the determination of the appeal filed by the respondent (ZCDC), and the first respondent (ZCDC) has purported to further note an appeal against the interim order granting leave to execute pending appeal,” Dube said.
“And, notwithstanding and in an apparent contempt of the said earlier orders of this court, the first and second respondents, under the control and direction of the fourth, fifth and sixth respondents (Francis Gudyanga, Morris Mpofu and David Murangari), acting in common purpose have persisted and continue to unlawfully and forcibly dispossess the third respondent (Mbada diamonds) of its assets including, but not limited to valuable ore, and deny it access to its concession area for purposes of securing its assets as directed by the court.”
The security manager also said in light of the alleged apparent contemptuous conduct of ZCDC and others, and “notwithstanding any purported further appeal by ZCDC”, Grandwell was now seeking effective relief to enforce compliance with the orders of the court.
“Notwithstanding their awareness of the court order made by this honourable court, the first and second respondents did not allow the third respondent’s security personnel to re-enter the red zone … furthermore and in any event, the notices of appeal were filed in bad faith and solely for the purposes of gaining time to continue rampant theft and disregard of orders of this honourable court,” Dube said.
“The entire notice of appeal is invalid and incompetent as it was filed against an interim of another interim order which could not be appealed against without the leave of the court. The matter in respect of which the appeal has been filed by the first respondent was urgent and remains urgent particularly in that;
“The dispossession is taking place right now. Valuable ore is being removed without any recorded chain of possession of the ore and the diamonds to be extracted from the ore. It will be virtually impossible to separate the work and property of the third respondent (Mbada) from the work of first respondent to determine the value removed.”
Dube added: “The first and second respondent’s conduct constitutes complete disregard and contempt of an order made by this honourable court. Every day that passes with continuation of such conduct has serious negative consequences on the administration of justice and the reputation and authority of our courts.”
The matter has not yet been set down for hearing.