21 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Setback for Buyanga - Businessman Barred From Taking Son Out of Zimbabwe

Photo: Frank Buyanga/Facebook
Frank Buyanga (file photo).

CONTROVERSIAL businessman who last over two weeks ago was granted an order by Harare Magistrate Court Marewanazvo Gofa forcing his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son to surrender the minor child passport will have to wait a bit longer.

Buyanga's baby mama, Chantell Muteswa has since approached the High Court and got an order that effectively suspended the Gofa's judgment. It means Muteswa can withhold the minor child's passport after she raised fears Buyanga may have been planning to take the child out of the country and into another jurisdiction in which orders issued by Zimbabwean courts may not be actionable.

High Court Judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu granted an interim order after an application by Muteswa through her lawyer Munyaradzi Bwanya.

"That the respondent (Buyanga) show cause to this Honourable Court why an order in the following terms should not be granted: Execution of the magistrate court ruling in the matter CCA205/18 be and is hereby stayed pending the determination of application for review in matter number HC4954/19. The opposing respondent to pay the costs of application.

"Pending the return day it is hereby ordered that, respondent be and hereby ordered not to remove the minor child from Zimbabwe," Justice Manzunzu said.

After Magistrate Gofa's order, Muteswa in her application for a review of the order in which Buyanga had been granted his demand for a variation of access to the minor child arguing among other this that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The initial order by Magistrate Trevor Nyatsanza according to Muteswa's lawyer Bwanya was granted in terms of the Guardianship of Minors Act Cap (Chapter 5:08) "which expressly provides that once an appeal against such an order of access is made to the High Court, the order against which the appeal is noted shall be suspended."

It was also argued on Muteswa's behalf that the magistrate had misdirected herself in finding that the Magistrate court had discretion to suspend the operation of a statutory provision in the form of Section 69(9) of the Guardianship of Minors Act.

Buyanga and Muteswa in the last few years have been locked in a bitter tussle for the custody of the now four year-old child amid accusations the businessman is using his "political connections" to harass his former mistress.

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