A MAURITIAN-REGISTERED company, Grandwell Holdings, which holds a 50% stake in Mbada Diamonds, yesterday urged the court not to entertain Mines minister Walter Chidakwa, arguing the latter was in contempt of court for allegedly failing to comply with a court order which compelled government to allow the company’s security officers to guard its property in the Marange diamond fields.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Last week, Grandwell Holdings approached the High Court on an urgent basis seeking an interdict to reverse the government’s decision to revoke mining licences of all companies operating in the Marange diamond fields.
While the application was pending, Grandwell Holdings sought and was granted a provisional order to allow its 150 security officers “to secure the company’s assets”.
However, Mbada’s security officers are said to have been denied access to the mining fields by the Zimbabwe Republic Police on the basis that they had not been cleared by the State’s security agents.
Mbada’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu argued that Chidakwa could not be heard by the court since he “had approached the court with dirty hands” after allegedly denying access to Mbada’s officers.
But, Chidakwa’s lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri urged the court to hear his client’s submissions, arguing the order was not effected simply because Mbada Diamonds security officers were invited for security checks before being allowed access to the diamond fields, but they allegedly refused prompting his client to deny them access since the area is a high security zone.
The matter, which is currently being argued on preliminary point, is set to continue before High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire today.
In the main application, Grandwell wants Chidakwa, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, Marange Resources and the newly-established Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company barred from interfering with its mining operations.
The company also wants the court to compel government to “take all steps necessary to renew the special grants” that allows it to continue mining.
Grandwell Holdings also wants the court to grant an interim relief giving Mbada “complete control of the mining site”.