Harare High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga has dismissed the bid by diamond mining firm, Anjin Investments to save its property from attachment by its former workers, ruling that the firm’s urgent application seeking stay of execution over a $837 506, 22 claim, was not urgent.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Anjin Investments (Pvt) Limited, is a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Chinese investors in a diamond mining project in Marange. The company was taken to court by its former security personnel demanding their dues emanating from a breach of a contractual obligation.
According to court papers, Anjin had employed over 200 security guards between 2010 and 2012 but failed to pay them salaries and allowances ranging from $700 to $7 000.
Following the dismissal of the application, the guards’ lawyers from Bherebhende Law Chambers, wrote to the Sheriff on Tuesday last week highlighting the developments and requesting the latter to proceed with attachment.
“We attach hereto the Court Order dismissing the urgent applications. We also wish to highlight that most of the movable assets of Anjin Investments in Harare including vehicles, are kept at the following immovable properties which are owned by Anjin Investments Private (ltd),” Walter Bherebhende wrote.
“Number 89 Kingsmead Borrowdale [hotel], Number 109 Kingsmead Borrowdale, Sorthouse situated at the Airport, Number 74 Pieters Road, Borrowdale [a pre-school] and Longchen Plaza Shopping Complex in Belvedere.”
The $837 506 figure was calculated when the matter was brought before an arbitrator, S. Magumisi, who found Anjin’s defence of not wanting to pay its employees not convincing.
Sometime in February this year, the security guards appeared before High Court judge Justice November Mtshiya and had their arbitral award, registered as a court order in terms of section 98(4) of the Labour Act.
However, in April this year, Anjin filed an urgent chamber application for stay of execution but failed to avail itself on the court date, prompting High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to dismiss the application with costs.
According to court papers, after the registration of the arbitral award as a court order, Anjin then filed an application for condonation for late filing of an appeal against the arbitral award, which was still pending at the Labour Court.
In his affidavit, Anjin’s secretary Charles Tarumbwa said his firm was seeking that the arbitral award that had caused the attachment of the company’s assets be suspended pending the hearing of its application for condonation.