Twine wants default judgment set aside



    Prosper Dembedza Court Reporter
    CAPS United owner Twine Phiri yesterday appeared before a Harare Civil Court magistrate seeking the rescission of a default judgment compelling him to pay US0 per month towards the upkeep of his child.

    Phiri’s mother-in-law, Cathrine Mutukwa, made a maintenance claim of US0 per month for the businessman’s 16-year-old daughter on November 25 last year which was granted.

    However, in his application Phiri claimed that the US0 was too high.

    “The sum of US0 per month is highly excessive given that I am a married man with several other children to look after.

    “The sum of US0 per month is out of proportion. I further state that I have since been slapped with other maintenance orders for other children,” reads part of Phiri’s application.

    Phiri implored the court to exercise its discretion and grant the order sought so that a proper inquiry may be conducted.

    “I would suffer severe prejudice if I were to be shut out as it were the technicality of a default judgment. I submit that the respondent does not have any legal right in fact, at law or both to approach this court and claim maintenance for the minor child,” reads Phiri’s application.

    He claimed at law Mutukwa did not have the right to claim maintenance for his child, Adja Lafa Phiri, whom he said was still under his custody.

    “The respondent is not the custodian of the child in question. The child is my daughter whom I sired with the respondent’s now deceased daughter,” reads Phiri’s application.

    Phiri said he was fending for the child in addition to paying for her boarding school fees.

    He said Mutukwa’s claim for maintenance for the minor child was premised on a vacuum.

    “I was not in attendance when the matter was adjudicated upon on the set date.

    “I submit that I was not in wilful and deliberate default, I was served with the summons whereupon I instructed my legal practitioners of record to pursue the matter,” reads Phiri’s application.

    He said the legal practitioner handling the matter had a pre-trial conference before the High Court.

    The presiding magistrate, Mr Trevor Nyatsanza, then removed the matter from roll after Phiri failed to produce a return of service, showing that he had served Mutukwa with the summons.