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ZCDC directors face prosecution

By Tendai Kamhungira

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) directors — including Mines ministry permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga — face prosecution after the firm defied a court order barring it from looting Grandwell Holdings’ (Grandwell) diamond ore in Chiadzwa.

Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Professor Francis Gudyanga
Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Professor Francis Gudyanga

Grandwell, which holds a 50 percent stake in Mbada Diamonds (Mbada), was granted the order by the High Court on February 24.

And recently, the State-run diamond miner was given an ultimatum to comply with the order or risk getting its appeal thrown out.

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Through its lawyer, Sternford Moyo from Scanlen & Holderness, Grandwell has written a letter to Gudyanga, ZCDC directors David Edgar Hoover Murangari and Morris Mpofu, demanding they comply with the court order or face legal action in their personal capacities.

“The court orders have not been observed, particularly in that collection of ore from the area covered by the orders has continued and so has interference with Mbada Diamonds’ security arrangements. The security personnel are being prevented from executing their duties by ZCDC and Zimbabwe Republic Police in acts of brazen and criminal contempt of High Court orders.

“Entirely without prejudice to legal action against you in your personal capacity in respect of acts of contempt of court and the loss already suffered by Grandwell Holdings and Mbada Diamonds, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, immediate stoppage of the wrongful and criminal contempt,” reads the letters dated May 9, 2017.

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

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 another successful urgent chamber application for spoliation, which resulted in an order of February 24, 2017, being granted against ZCDC.

The order was not complied with, forcing Mbada to rush back to court where another order was handed down, giving ZCDC an ultimatum.

“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 1 above and to purge their failure to comply with the interim order granted by Justice (Amie) 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. Daily News