Millers hit brick wall

nyundoFidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe’s bid to block Government from enforcing the new maize price of US$390 per tonne through an urgent chamber application failed yesterday after the High Court ruled that the matter was not urgent.Justice Nicholas Mathonsi dismissed the GMAZ application without hearing arguments from both parties.

He said the application lacked urgency and the matter should proceed as a normal court application.

A judge is empowered to decide urgent applications without hearing arguments from contesting parties in certain circumstances.

The millers wanted the High Court to grant them a provisional order pending the finalisation of the case.

Their lawyer, Mr Tonderai Bhatasara, confirmed that the matter was dismissed as not urgent.

“The judge dismissed the application,” said Mr Bhatasara adding: “It means we have to follow the course of an ordinary court application.”

The ruling comes two weeks after GMAZ and Grain and Oilseed Traders’ Association launched a constitutional application at the Constitutional Court challenging the Government directive.

Both associations accuse Government of infringing upon their constitutional rights.

In its application, GMAZ wanted Government and Agricultural Marketing Authority interdicted from forcing it and its members to buy maize from grain producers at US$390 per tonne until the case in the Constitutional Court is decided.

Early this month, Government announced the new maize producer price of US$390 per tonne for the 2014-15 marketing season.

But GMAZ argues that the price that was approved by Cabinet only applied to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

The association argues it was not affected by the directive and proceeded to purchase maize and other grains from various producers at negotiated prices.

But the association fears that its members may be arrested for buying maize from producers and farmers at prices ranging between US$280 and US$300 per tonne.

GMAZ is seeking the protection of the law as the gazetted prices apply retrospectively to April 1 this   year.





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