The High Court has ruled that Mdada Diamonds, which is among several firms that were ordered by the state to stop operations in Manicaland province, can only deploy security guards at its mining compounds but can’t resume diamond mining activities due to lack of a proper license to mine the gems.
The government shutdown mining activities in Marange diamond fields and others last month claiming that the companies had no licenses and refused to be part of a national diamond mining entity designed to take over all operations in the region.
Harare High Court judge, Joseph Mafusire, today ruled that Mbada diamonds was wrongfully dispossessed of its property when police details were deployed to guard the Marange diamonds fields following the government’s directive for all the diamond mining companies to stop all mining activities in Manicaland province.
This ruling was confirmed by Advocate Lewis Uriri, one of the lawyers representing the police in this matter.
Uriri, however, said the state was going to appeal against the court’s decision arguing that authorities followed provisions of the law when they removed the diamond companies from their concessions.
The judge, however, said Mbada Diamonds could not resume mining operations since the company had not renewed its operating license. Executives of Mbada Diamonds were not available for comment.
A lone protester seen outside Parliament of Zimbabwe demanding to know what happened to missing diamond revenue of up to $15 billion. (Thomas Chiripasi)
Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa last month ordered the closure of all companies that were mining diamonds in Chiadzwa on the basis that they had not renewed their operating licenses. The companies were also allegedly refusing to merge to form one entity that was being proposed by government.
Chidhakwa said the merger was meant to curb leakages in the diamond sector after fiscal authorities complained that the companies were declaring all their returns from diamond sales.
Following the move to kick out all diamond mining companies from Chiadzwa, President Robert Mugabe stunned the nation when he claimed that government lost more than $15 billion in potential revenue in Chiadzwa.
To-date, no one has been arrested in connection with missing funds.