The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Court Upholds MMCZ Manager's Suspension

The Labour Court has upheld the suspension of a manager with the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe who sold diamonds to companies without valid licenses. Patrick Marufu had appealed at the Labour Court against a decision by the company's disciplinary appeals committee which upheld his suspension after a disciplinary hearing.

The acts of misconduct against Marufu were that in May 2011, he sold diamonds to Red Mercury that did not have a valid license.

Red Mercury had presented an expired license. Marufu also sold diamonds to ZDPC Parmenta Investments on the basis of a payment receipt for a license.

ZDPC had outstanding quarterly returns.

Marufu was expected to check the validity of the licenses the companies produced. He was also charged for giving rough diamonds manifesto to BCE Diamonds on March 11, 2011.

The manifesto contained rough diamond weights and prices for parcels that had been evaluated for international sales from Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources (Canadile Miners). Marufu was not handling this particular portfolio. He admitted to falsifying prices of the parcels on the manifesto through his memo dated March 28, 2011.

The manifesto would have been used by Mayhill Limited, an international company.

Mayhill Ltd wanted to participate in the Marange rough diamond tenders.

Marufu was found guilty of abusing his authority in handling the sales portfolio.

He was also found guilty of giving privileged information intended for international sale.

Labour Court senior president Ms Gladys Mhuri said it was a trite position that the burden of proof in civil matters was proof on a balance of probability. Said Ms Mhuri: "On the evidence placed before it, the Disciplinary Appeals Committee found on a balance of probability that Marufu committed the acts of misconduct preferred against him.

"The DAC noted that the sale of diamonds was governed by SI 157/2010 which requires that diamonds be sold to licensed manufacturers, and this was not disputed." Ms Mhuri dismissed Marufu's appeal with costs.

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