BY CHARLES LAITON
A Mauritius-registered company, Grandwell Holdings, a shareholder in Mbada Diamonds (Pvt) Ltd, has lost a bid to secure a contempt of court order against government after the High Court dismissed its application with costs.
Sometime in July last year, Grandwell Holdings petitioned the court seeking contempt of court charges against the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), its chief executive officer Morris Mpofu and Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Godwin Matanga, over the alleged continued theft of its diamond ore in Chiadzwa.
Through its chief security manager, Jabulani Mkoko, Mbada Diamond had accused Mpofu and Matanga of deliberately scoffing at the court orders and instructing junior police officers not to comply with any court order.
But in his judgment delivered on March 7, 2019, Justice Jacob Manzunzu said the Grandwell Holdings application was founded on broad, generalised and sweeping allegations of breach, which were being disputed by the four respondents.
“The first, second and fourth respondents’ (ZCDC, Mbada and Matanga) position is that there is no act of spoliation after the orders of the court were made. As far as they are concerned, the second respondent’s diamond ore is under judicial attachment by the Sheriff as at January 21, 2017. In short, they deny acting in breach of the court orders,” said Justice Manzunzu.
He said the initial order did not deal with Mpofu yet he was cited in the matter as the third respondent. “He is alleged to have acted in his official capacity yet the order sought is for his imprisonment in his personal capacity. There is a disconnect, he cannot be held for contempt”.
“For the reasons already stated, I find that the applicant has failed to make a case for contempt of court. Despite such failure, there is nothing adverse to attract costs at a higher scale as prayed for against the applicant (Grandwell Holdings).”
The court application by Grandwell Holdings followed claims that ZCDC, through Marange Resources, had continued to collect diamond ore from Mbada Diamond’s concession area in Chiadzwa despite a plethora of court orders barring the government firm from doing so.