Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando was found in contempt of the country’s high court, and sentenced to 90 days in prison, local media reported.
Chitando had not complied with two court orders issued in a mining claims dispute pitting RioZim Limited and North Rand Private Limited, according to the State-owned The Herald newspaper.
On Thursday, the judge gave Chitando seven days to comply, failure of which he will serve the jail term. The court also 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.
The court order, published by The Herald reads:
“The first respondent (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.”
The embattled minister was also ordered to pay costs.