Court allows Mbada to return to Marange after government ban


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The High Court has allowed the largest diamond mine in the Marange fields to return and assume control of all assets after challenging government's decision to stop mining operations.

Zimbabwe's mines minister on February 22 ordered all nine companies operating in the diamond fields in the east of the southern African country near Mozambique to stop mining and leave because their license had expired.

Mbada Diamonds, a 50/50 venture between the government and Mauritius-registered Grandwell Holdings, yesterday won a reprieve from the High Court, which ruled that Mbada should have full control of its assets.

In the interim judgment, the Ministry of Mines was ordered to let Mbada's security personnel have access to the company's mining site in Marange.

"As a contingency plan pending the hearing of this matter … (Minister of Mines) shall allow such security personnel full access to all the relevant premises thereat, including residential premises, full access to all the equipment, diamond ore and any other assets," Judge Joseph Mafusire said.

A full hearing on whether Mbada can resume mining will be held tomorrow.Walter-ChidhakwaMines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said that the government, through the Attorney General, would launch an appea, which would automatically suspend Monday's ruling.

"We believe in the original position that we took and we stand by that decision. The Attorney General will launch an appeal this morning," said Chidhakwa.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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