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Husband Of Zimbabwe Vice President In Diamond Mine Imbroglio

A business group led by retired Zimbabwe army general Solomon Mujuru - who is the husband of Vice President Joyce Mujuru - faces a challenge in the country's supreme court over allegations his political clout allowed it to illegally seize a diamond mine.

A Harare high court judge this week ruled for Mujuru’s River Ranch Ltd. consortium against Bubye Diamond Mine of Beitbridge, which had asked the court to prohibit the sale or export of the mine's precious output without permission from Bubye.

The high court judge in the case, Lawrence Kamocha, set aside four other judgments in Bubye’s favor. Mining industry sources said Zimbabwe is losing US$1 million a month in royalties while diamond exports and sales are blocked by the suit.

Mujuru's consortium announced earlier this year that it would sell 22,000 carats of diamonds through the state monopoly Mineral Marketing Corporation.

Bubye Diamond Mine Director Adele Farquhar told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the latest high court judgment is disturbing.

Somewhat ironically, Bubye Diamond Mine is represented by Terrence Hussein, President Robert Mugabe's personal lawyer, who said he is confident that his clients will prevail against the Mujuru consortium at the supreme court level.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...