'Chidakwa defied Court order'

HARARE - Grandwell Holdings, which invested heavily in Mbada Diamonds (Private) Limited (Mbada), says Mines minister Walter Chidakwa should be dragged to court to explain why he failed to comply with a court order allowing the company back to the diamond mining site in Chiadzwa to secure its diamonds and equipment.

Mauritius-registered Grandwell approached the court challenging the government’s decision to throw Mbada out of Chiadzwa.

In the application, Chidakwa, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Marange Resources (Private) Limited, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Mbada are cited as respondents.

Stanford Moyo and Thabani Mpofu, who appeared on behalf of Grandwell and Mbada respectively in an urgent chamber application heard yesterday before High Court judge Joseph Mafusire, said Chidakwa was in contempt of court by failing to comply with an order granted on February 29, this year.

“There is a complete defiance on the order given on February 29. The first respondent (Chidakwa) made a radio announcement on February 29 that he was aware of the judgment but expressed his disagreement with the order by suggesting that it was to be appealed against, but no appeal was filed.

“The lack of respect of rule of law is a legitimate basis upon which you (court) can refuse to hear them (respondents). They are undermining the authority of this court.

“This is totally unacceptable particularly when it’s being done by a minister, a member of the Cabinet, who should be the custodian of the law,” Moyo said, adding that there was no guarantee that Chidakwa would comply with any other court order that was going to be given in the matter.

“The disrespect of the court of law is what is causing problems in this country. It started with jambanja (violent seizures) on the farms, jambanja in the banks and now jambanja in the mines,” Moyo said, urging the court to summon Chidakwa to appear before it to explain why he failed to comply with the order before the matter could be heard on merits.

Mpofu, on the other hand, said that it was not proper for the court to allow Chidakwa to get away with the contempt.

However, Lewis Uriri and Sylvester Hashiti, who appeared on behalf of Chidakwa, ZMDC, Marange Resources (Private) Limited, ZCDC respectively, said the allegations of contempt were malicious.

Uriri said there were security checks that needed to be conducted before Mbada security officials were allowed back into the mining site.

He said that Mbada officials refused to comply with the security checks on the basis that they had a court order.

“It’s because of the perverse conduct by the applicant that the order has not been complied with,” Uriri said.

However, Moyo said there was no need for further security checks to be conducted, since the security officers, who had been working at the same site had already undergone the same process before.

Mafusire said evidence should be led on why the order was not complied with.

He said the integrity of the courts should not be compromised and if the order was not obeyed, a red flag had been raised in front of a bull. 

The matter was eventually postponed to today for the parties to lead evidence from the responsible persons.

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