18 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Contests Suit

Photo: The Standard
Opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru (file photo).

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has approached the High Court seeking rescission of an order compelling him to pay $57 800 plus a Nissan NP200 to the man who coordinated his failed "grand coalition" plot against President Mugabe in the 2013 general election. Mr Tsvangirai, together with his brother Manasa and his right-hand man Mr Morgan Komichi, were last week ordered to jointly pay $7 800 plus the vehicle -- the package they had promised the emissary way back in 2013.

The trio was also ordered to pay $50 000 as damages for the violence perpetrated on Mr Moreprecision Muzadzi when he visited Mr Tsvangirai's Highlands home to claim his dues. Mr Tsvangirai and his two co-defendants in the lawsuit yesterday filed an application for rescission of the default judgment issued against them. The trio, who claim that they only learnt of the default judgment through the Press, argue that they were never served with summons.

"I verily assert that I was never served with the summons by the respondent through the Deputy Sheriff and therefore had no knowledge of this claim," said Mr Tsvangirai. The opposition party leader is denying knowledge of the summons despite media reports that the Sheriff was assaulted at Harvest House early this year while serving the same papers. The incident, which was reported to the police, attracted wide Press coverage. In his affidavit, Mr Tsvangirai argues that if the Sheriff served the papers to a receptionist at Harvest House, he erred because he should have served them at his home.

"Although I am president of the MDC, I am not its employee. Therefore, the headquarters of the MDC is not my place of employment as envisaged in the rules of the court. I also do not reside at the headquarters of the MDC," reads Mr Tsvangirai's affidavit.

Mr Tsvangirai said his brother Manasa was not an MDC-T official. Mr Komichi, it is argued, is the party's deputy chairperson, but he does not stay at Harvest House. The three argued that the default judgment was obtained fraudulently and that their prospects of success if the matter is referred to trial were high.Mr Muzadzi, who is Mr Tsvangirai's homeboy, early this year sued the trio for thousands of dollars as damages for the assault perpetrated on him and the outstanding fees and a car he was promised for facilitating talks with prospective allies in the "grand coalition" against President Mugabe in 2013. Mr Muzadzi accused the opposition leader of reneging on his pledge to pay him with a Nissan NP200 and $7 800 after he played the emissary role.

He argued that MDC-T security details assaulted him when he went to the political leader's house in Highlands, Harare demanding his dues. In his claim, Mr Muzadzi said the respondents agreed to engage him to negotiate with opposition party leaders not to contest the 2013 general polls and instead throw their weight behind Mr Tsvangirai. Mr Muzadzi said they held a series of meetings with several Western embassies with the sole objective of securing one presidential candidate for the polls. After a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Mr Tsvangirai and fellow opposition parties, Mr Muzadzi said he was then asked to submit a bill for his services, which he duly did.

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