HomeLocal NewsMbada directors end boycott to appear before parliament

Mbada directors end boycott to appear before parliament

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Directors of the two controversial diamond mining companies exploiting the Chiadzwa diamond reserves this week finally ended their boycott of Parliament.

Directors of Mbada Diamonds and Canadile Miners are being probed for various irregularities including circumstances surrounding their licensing.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Mines and Energy was determined to charge them with contempt if they had not turned up on Tuesday.

The directors had ignored three requests to appear before the committee to answer questions relating to their mining activities in Chiadzwa citing the pending court case involving Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR) who are arguing that they had the mining rights to the claim.

Before giving their oral evidence, the director of Mbada Diamonds Robert Mhlanga tried in vain to have the meeting held in camera because “a lot of bad things have been said” about them and all their operations had been “politicised” and that diamond mining was a sensitive issue.

But committee chairperson Edward Chindori-Chininga, after consulting clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma, refused to grant Mbada their request. Journalists and members of the public were then allowed in.

Mbada was represented by Mhlanga and David Kassel, and five others who told the committee that their operations were suffering because they were not selling the diamonds they were producing.

Canadile directors also came represented by chairman, Cougan Matanhire who was accompanied by Alvin Ncube, Lovemore Kurotwi, Yehuda Licht and Adrian Taylor.

Kassel from Mbada and Licht and Taylor from Canadile, refused to take oath using the New Testament because they are all Jewish.

Mbada directors revealed that they have already mined 2,5 million carats of diamond but they were sitting on the jewels and making losses because they cannot get clearance from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

Mhlanga shocked the hearing when he denied that they had intended to sell diamonds in January. He said he only convened a press conference to announce their readiness to sale.

“We were aware of all the KP requirements. We said we have a product that is now ready for sale and that there were buyers outside the country ready to buy,” said Mhlanga.

Canadile directors told the committee that the company geologists had advised that Canadile could not invest the $100 million agreed with government because they had been given much smaller mining land which would be exhausted within eight months unless more was provided.

“Our investment was supposed to be in two phases and we have already invested $20 million for capital equipment and working capital according to our work plan.

Now we can’t bring in Phase Two because our geologists have discovered we will run out of land,” said Matanhire.

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