MINISTER of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando was yesterday found in contempt of the High Court and sentenced to 90 days in prison.
Minister Chitando, according to the court, did not comply with two court orders issued in a mining claims dispute pitting RioZim Limited and North Rand Private Limited.
However, High Court judge, Justice David Mangota gave the minister seven days to comply, failure of which he will serve the jail term.
The court ordered the minister to ensure transfer of ownership of some mining claims from North Rand into the name of RioZim, but he did not comply.
Justice Mangota’s order reads:
“The first respondent (Minister Chitando) is found in contempt of the orders that were granted by this honourable court on the 6th of June, 2018 and the 10th of October, 2018 under HC4957/18 respectively.
“The first respondent be and is hereby committed to the Harare Remand Prison for a period of three months.
“The warrant of committal is, however, suspended seven days on condition that the first respondent shall faithfully and dutifully comply with the orders given in this court in Case Number HC4957/18 granted on the 6th of June and HC8198/18 granted on the 10th day of October 2019”
Harare lawyer Mr Liberty Ndangana and Advocate Thabani Mpofu represented RioZim.
The court slapped the minister with an order for costs on a higher scale.