Diamond saga: Supreme Court reserves judgment

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ZIMBABWE Mining Development Corporation subsidiary Marange Resources’ bid to resist arbitration to resolve an impasse with Core Mining and Mineral Resources spilled into the Supreme Court yesterday.

BY CHARLES LAITON
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

The application to the Supreme Court by Marange Resources followed a High Court ruling in which the court dismissed Marange’s urgent chamber application contesting the appointment of former High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo as an arbitrator in the gem case.

Yesterday Marange Resources lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu told the court, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, that the High Court had erred in dismissing Marange’s application more so given the fact that Core Mining and Mineral Resources was not represented by its liquidator.

He argued that Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi should not have deposed an affidavit in the proceedings at the High Court, because he was not being the liquidator, but the shareholder and director of his firm.

“Whatever it is that was relied by the court a quo was as a result of deposition to an affidavit by Kurotwi and whatever issues were raised by Kurotwi and his lawyers were invalid because of that,” Mpofu said.

In response to Marange’s application, Kurotwi’s lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri urged the court to dismiss the appeal, arguing the High Court had not misdirected itself when it ruled in favour of Core Mining.

Uriri said the High Court correctly found out that former judge Justice Chinhengo was the procedurally appointed arbitrator and was supposed to execute his mandate which Marange Resources was seeking to thwart.

He said Marange Resources chose to ignore all the correspondences addressed to it by Core Mining advising of the appointment of the arbitrator to resolve the diamond dispute, but waited until the eleventh hour to file an application at the High Court opposing the move.

“Pre-arbitration meeting was held on April 12, 2013 and the appellant ought to have acted on that particular moment. The appellant did not act until April 23 when he filed what he purports was an urgent chamber application,” Uriri said.

“What emerges from the appellant’s actions is that he did not treat the matter as urgent and only waited until the hour of reckoning.”

Uriri urged the court to dismiss the appeal and allow the matter to be settled through arbitration.

Judgment was reserved.