CORE Mining and Mineral Resources director Lovemore Kurotwi has intensified his legal campaign to have his long-running dispute with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) resolved through an arbitrator.
Kurotwi last week filed his heads of arguments at the High Court challenging an application by ZMDC who sought to bar an arbitrator from resolving the diamond impasse over the now defunct diamond firm, Canadile Miners.
He argued that there was no provision in the Arbitration Act in terms of which a litigant was allowed to approach the High Court while an arbitration matter was still pending.
“Once arbitral proceedings have commenced, as in the present case, applicant should either apply to set aside the award or oppose registration as and when the arbitration proceedings have been concluded. This is all assuming that an arbitral award will be handed down in favour of the applicant,” Kurotwi said.
Last month, ZMDC filed an urgent application before High Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera contesting the appointment of former High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo as an arbitrator in the gem impasse case.
This was after Justice Chinhengo had asked Core Mining and ZMDC’s subsidiary firm, Marange Resources, to submit their case before him for arbitration.
ZMDC’s lawyers Mutamangira and Associates sought to contest the president of the Law
Society’s powers to appoint Justice Chinhengo alleging his appointment was done haphazardly, an assertion Core Mining dismissed.
“From the chronology of events set out here above, it is not in dispute that the process to appoint an arbitrator commenced on October 19, 2012 and that the applicant (ZMDC) acknowledged receipt of this letter on November 14 last year,” Core Mining argued.
“In order to conceal and camouflage this fact, the applicant deliberately, dishonestly and in a clear endeavour to mislead the court, withheld this correspondence from the court, thus pretending that the issue only arose in April 2013,” the firm said.
Core Mining further argued that ZMDC’s urgent application was “self-created”.
“It is respectfully submitted that at the very latest, the appointment of the arbitrator ought to have been challenged upon receipt of the appointment latter dated February 18, 2013 copied to the applicant’s legal practitioners,” Core Mining said.
In its heads of arguments, ZMDC argued that Kurotwi was no longer Core Mining’s director and, as such, he could not “purport” to represent the interests of the said diamond firm.
Kurotwi, however, argued that he had interests in the matter given that his firm’s assets were still being used by ZMDC and as a result he had suffered financial prejudice.
“It is clear that the applicant has not taken into account Core’s own financial interests, particularly taking into account that its equipment continues to be used by applicant in the joint venture arising from the agreement sought to be arbitrated upon,” Kurotwi said.
Justice Mwayera is expected to rule on the matter soon.