MINES minister Walter Chidakwa yesterday defended the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s decision to bar Mbada Diamond security personnel access to the firm’s mining sites in Chiadzwa saying even himself would not be allowed such admittance without meeting required security checks.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Chidakwa made the remarks in High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire’s chambers after he was summoned to defend contempt of court allegations levelled against him by the diamond company.
This followed the refusal by the police to comply with a court order granted in favour of a Mauritius-registered company, Grandwell Holdings, which has a huge stake in Mbada Diamonds, on Monday this week.
Mafusire had ordered police to allow Mbada security officers to safeguard their company property following the government’s decision to withdraw mining licences against all the diamond mining firms that were booted out of Chiadzwa.
In the urgent chamber application, Chidakwa, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Marange Resources (Private) Limited, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Mbada, were cited as respondents whereas Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri was also added as a respondent to the application yesterday.
Chidakwa said despite the mining companies’ licences having expired several months prior to his directive, no action had been taken against them, thereby putting him in the spotlight as the chief instigator of the current impasse.
Asked why they had withdrawn the mining companies’ licences in light of the existing contractual agreements between the parties, Chidakwa said an Act of Parliament was more superior to the agreements, adding the said mining firms’ tenure to continue operating had expired.
Advocate Sylvester Hashiti appeared on behalf of ZMDC, Marange Resources (Private) Limited and ZCDC, while Sternford Moyo represented Mbada.
Ruling was postponed to today.