MDC-T in last-minute bid to stop auctioning of seized property

THE MDC-T has approached the High Court seeking rescission of a default judgment granted in favour of the party’s former employee, Sally Dura, which led to the attachment of party furniture and computers last month over a $109 000 salary debt.

BY CHARLES LAITON

On July 28, the sheriff of the High Court stormed MDC-T’s headquarters at Harvest House in Harare and attached all the movable property after Dura had obtained a default judgment compelling her ex-paymasters to pay her $108 951.

However, MDC-T deputy chief of staff, Collin Gwiyo, filed an application on Tuesday, seeking rescission of the default judgment, arguing Dura had fraudulently sought the court order.

“The removal of the property, which included all office furniture and key equipment such as computers, was done without a formal notice of attachment and removal and, therefore, the sheriff’s actions were clearly malicious,” he argued.

“The default judgment under HC2411/17 granted by Justice Mwayera on April 26, 2017 to the first respondent (Dura) … was improperly sought and irregularly granted. This is because the application for the registration of the arbitral award in favour of the first respondent was opposed and the notice of opposition is filed for record.

“It boggles the mind how the first respondent was then able to set down her application as an unopposed matter and obtain the default judgment.

“The first respondent did not disclose to the court that the matter was opposed. She misled the court into believing that the application was not opposed.”

Gwiyo further said he visited the High Court to verify the position after the property was attached and he discovered that “there is also on record a certificate of service by one Phineas Maponga, who claims that he served the court application on a receptionist named Tinashe at the applicant’s premises. However, there is no receptionist at the applicant’s premises named Tinashe.

“To make matters worse, we received the application on March 29, 2017 at 10:35am and not on the alleged date. It was received on applicant’s behalf by Trust Phiri, one of our security details, who is stationed at the outside door.”

Gwiyo said the certificate of service by Maponga “was deliberately falsified” and calculated to mislead the court.

“In as far as Mrs Justice Mwayera was persuaded by the said certificate of service, the (default) judgment in case number HC2411/17 was erroneously given. It was obtained by fraud,” he said, urging the court to grant his application.

Dura is one of the 16 MDC-T former employees granted an award by arbitrator Nyaradzo Shumba on February 28, 2015, which was quantified on October 6, 2016.

But the MDC-T then appealed against the award to the Labour Court under case number LC/H/596/16 and the matter is still pending.