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ACR takes Mpofu to court


African Consolidated Resources (ACR) has taken Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu to court for allegedly violating an order barring the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) from mining and selling diamonds at Chiadzwa fields.
ACR, led by Andrew Cranswick, also wants the High Court to throw out the appeal by Mpofu and other respondents contesting the High Court order barring mining activities in Marange until they comply with the initial order.
ZMDC, Mbada and Canadile are cited as the second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
According to the heads of arguments lodged by Venturas and Samukange Legal Practitioners on behalf of ACR, Mpofu is being accused of not having complied with a Supreme Court ruling case No. SC1/10 handed down by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
In his judgment, the chief justice said: “As regards the situation on the disputed claims, the fact of the matter is that the applicants are in physical control of those claims. The balance of convenience favours the applicants remaining on the site of the claims pending the appeal but they must cease all mining activities and it is so ordered. Allowing applicants to continue mining pending appeal has the potential of causing irreparable damage to the respondents should the appeal fail.”
However, ACR argues that Mpofu and the other respondents have not ceased mining activities as ordered.
The company says Mpofu has gone further to auction diamonds from the applicants’ claim in total violation of the order.
“They have therefore approached this court with dirty hands. They should not be heard. The respondents have shown no respect for the rule of law. As a government minister he has a legal and moral duty to see to it that orders of this honourable court and of the Supreme Court are obeyed and see to it that the integrity of this honourable court and of the Supreme Court is protected by not openly and publicly acting in defiance of a court order,” reads part of the heads of arguments filed by ACR.
“As the minister’s application is totally ill-conceived, in that it is based on a concept that he does not even understand and as the ZMDC is permitting Mbada and Canadile to carry on mining activities in contempt of the order of the Chief Justice and in contravention of the Mining Act, since Special Grant 4720 has expired, it is submitted that punitive costs should be awarded against the minister and ZMDC”.
ACR was kicked out of Marange in 2006, but subsequently won a High Court case confirming its right to the land where Mbada and Canadile are mining.
ZMDC is working with Mbada Diamonds and Canadile in a hurriedly formed joint venture which was given licences without going through transparent procedures last year.
ACR says all the diamonds mined by ZMDC since 2007 and now by Mbada and Canadile were extracted from its claims.

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