Tuesday, 22 November 2016

BOND NOTES CHALLENGE HEARING TODAY

HARARE businessman, Frederick Mtandah yesterday submitted his heads of argument in a case in which he is challenging the planned introduction of bond notes.

Mtandah, in his application to the High Court, argues that the move by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) was unconstitutional and an infringement of his rights.

He said it was “regrettable that in a matter of national importance and one in which constitutional issues had been raised, RBZ governor, John Mangudya and Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa were content to raise points that were designed to prevent a determination of the matter on an urgent basis”.

“It is respectfully submitted that the points raised by third and fourth respondents (Mangudya and Chinamasa) are without merit. Applicants (Mtandah and Fredex Financial Services) reserve the right to supplement these submissions as the full arguments to be raised by these respondents have yet to be formulated,” Mtandah said.

His submission followed an argument raised by Mangudya and Chinamasa, in their heads of argument, that he was not properly before the court and, as such, his application ought to be dismissed.

Mangudya and Chinamasa further argued the businessman had shown no legal interest in the matter, but Mtandah dismissed their assertions, urging the court to hear his matter on an urgent basis.

“The point is taken that there is a matter in the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) that deals with a challenge to the Presidential Powers Act. It is respectfully submitted that this, in itself, cannot be a bar to the instant application, as the relief sought and indeed the grounds upon which the relief is sought are completely different,” Mtandah said.

“We are dealing here with an interdict and the grounds upon which that interdict is sought are grounds that the ConCourt is not being called on to determine.”

The businessman said he was the principal shareholder of Fredex Financial Services, a bureau de change, and the introduction of the bond notes would impact negatively on his customers.

“If bond notes are subsequently declared lawful, then obviously second applicant will face a multiplicity of lawsuits from beneficiaries in this country, who will then demand payment in United States dollars. This will lead to a collapse of second applicant and, by extension, first applicant (Mtandah) will suffer untold financial prejudice,” he said.

However, in their combined heads of argument, President Robert Mugabe, Chinamasa, and Attorney-General Prince Machaya insisted the matter was not urgent and urged the court to dismiss it, arguing Mtandah had not established a clear and definite right that had come under threat.
The matter is set to be heard today. newsday

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