Booted diamond miner Anjin seeks reinstatement

HARARE - Chinese diamond mining firm Anjin Investments (Anjin), which was booted out of the Marange mining fields last year, has approached the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) demanding reinstatement.

The application was made after Mines minister Walter Chidakwa ordered diamond mining firms to stop operations in February last year and leave the Marange fields as their licences had ostensibly expired.

Anjin was one of the nine firms mining the diamond fields in the east of Zimbabwe near Mozambique.

Anjin is a joint venture between the government's Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and China’s State-owned Anhui Foreign and Economic Construction Company and was run mainly by Chinese nationals.

In the application, Anjin cited Chidakwa, commissioner-general of police Augustine Chihuri, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), as respondents.

“This is an application directly to this honourable court in terms of Section 85 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act, 2013 for the protection of the applicant (Anjin)’s constitutional rights which have been infringed by the actions and conduct of the first (Chidakwa), second (Chihuri) and fourth (ZCDC) respondents since February 22, 2016, whose conduct persists and has had a significant and detrimental effect on the applicant and has caused it a substantial harm,” Anjin said.

It said that its right to protection of its property in terms of Section 71 (2) of the Constitution had been infringed or harmed by the government’s actions.

The company is now seeking an order that sets aside government decision to eject the mine from Marange.

Anjin is further seeking an order declaring that the directive to cease mining operations and to remove its assets from the mining area constitutes an infringement on the firm’s right to its property.

It addition, it wants an order barring the police from preventing Anjin from accessing and lawfully conducting its business operations in the area, among other issues.

The court heard that the Special Grant did not stipulate a period within which it was to expire.

“A formal ceremony was conducted in February 2010 at which the president of Zimbabwe officially handed over the Special Grant to a representative of applicant in the presence of the then Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin Shunkang and Chinese defence attaché, Zhuo Wei,” Anjin said.

The matter has been postponed to July 19 to allow the Anjin lawyer to go through the heads of argument that was filed by the respondents in the matter.

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