Chaibva faces his former party colleague in court over debts

MUTARE – Dods Bakery Pvt Ltd company secretary Gabriel Chaibva on Wednesday came out guns blazing at Mutare Civil Courts, lambasting the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund lawyers, who had dragged the bakery for failing to pay up an outstanding amount of over $6 200.

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Gabriel Chaibva

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Chaibva, who is responsible for general administration and corporate legal affairs at Dods Bakery, was dragged to court by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education in his capacity as the Trustee of ZIMDEF. The ministry was represented by lawyer Chris Ndlovu of Gonese and Ndlovu legal practitioners.

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Mutare magistrate, Mrs Anne Ndiraya heard that Dods Bakery Pvt Ltd, which was then located at 12 Edison Street in Mutare, allegedly defaulted in paying to ZIMDEF and owed the organisation $6 278, 26.

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The court in July this year, granted a default judgment in favour of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education after Chaibva could not attend court for a number of reasons, among them, attending to his sick mother who later passed on.

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“The default judgment was obtained as a result of not entering a plea owing to circumstances beyond my control. I do not remember receiving the Notice of Plea,” said Chaibva in his application for rescission of default judgment made on September 11.

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Chaibva, in a packed court gallery yesterday argued that the respondent never clarified as to how the debt had arisen or to which period the sums relate to describing the claim as “ambiguous” and “lacking clarity”.

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“The Applicant has always and shall always be willing to comply with all statutory obligations imposed upon the laws of Zimbabwe. But surely no one should be allowed to daydream and just wake up one morning, in a drunken stupor to mane an unsubstantiated claim of unpaid statutory obligation, to which we have not been made aware of.

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“For the record, we have been paying our obligations with respect to ZIMDEF and the final and last were on March 25 2013 and April 5, 2013 in respect of the year ended December 2012, before the company ceased operations. In any case why is it a problem for the defendant to specify the nature and origins of the claims being made against the Applicant?” said Chaibva in a court session that lasted for close to an hour.

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Chaibva said the claim was poorly crafted “describing it is a fishing expedition in a sewer pond” as it stated no origins of claim.

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“It is equally doubtful that the legal practitioners are indeed representing the Honourable Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, therefore lacking in standing before the court. Certificates used in the proceedings are forged and would attract the sanctions of the court,” he added.

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Chris Ndlovu told Mrs Ndiraya that Chaibva was disrespecting the courts by using “insulting and indecent” language in his affidavit as well as degrading veteran lawyer Innocent Gonese who initially handled the case.

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He cited Chaibva’s phrases such as “fishing in the sewer pond hoping to catch a tuna fish” and “Gonese leaves a lot of suspicions and questions to his integrity and honesty”.

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“Your Worship, the contents in his affidavit shows discourteous and irresponsible behaviour as well as unsavory remarks. It should not be allowed to be entertained. If this court is not offended, I am offended. The affidavit carries offensive and indecorous contents. Who the hell does he think he is? The mischief is so severe that it goes on to attack Mr Gonese. It seems he is fighting a political war with my partner in these proceedings. It’s unfortunate. This court cannot and should not be abused,” said Ndlovu.

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Chaibva apologised to the courts but went on to justify his language saying his phrases were not offensive if quoted in context. The case continues on September 30. – Manica Post

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