Thursday, 9 August 2018

JUDGE SILENCES EXPELLED AFM MEMBERS

THREE expelled members of the Apostolic Faith Mission of Africa (AFMA) have been slapped with decrees of perpetual silence after the High Court found that their frivolous and vexatious suits were unnecessarily flooding the judicial system.

Messrs Claudius Manamela, Brighton Nanga and Ms Sibongile Manamela were barred from suing anyone else after a Bulawayo High Court judge ruled they were “vexatious litigants” who had clogged the judicial system with a litany of groundless litigation.

Billed as extremely litigious, the trio has instituted several cases at the High Court in Bulawayo and Harare, the magistrate’s court in Bulawayo and the Supreme Court. All their pleadings would be foul and full of incomprehensible ramblings.

The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Thompson James Mabhikwa means that the three litigants now cannot start legal proceedings without first seeking the courts’ consent.
This comes after the three had filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court citing AFMA and its leader Reverend Rosewell Zulu as respondents.

They sought a court order directing Rev Zulu to allow them access to the church buildings.
“This court will thus reiterate that a litigant or litigants cannot be allowed to enjoy filing frivolous applications at the same time abusing the court and other litigants. One of the major motives why the applicants keep on filing the flurry of applications is to avoid the execution of orders granted against them and to avoid or delay payment of the attendant costs,” said Justice Mabhikwa.

The judge said the applicants filed more than 18 applications, including the present one, within two years, without sufficient and genuine ground but ulterior motive.
“The bulk of them (applications) fall squarely within the definition of vexatious applications. This court will add a further warning to the first applicant (Mr Manamela) in particular that it cannot allow a situation where officers of the court, including legal counsels for litigants, are just scandalously accused of spurious allegations completely devoid of facts, unfounded and unsubstantiated,” said Justice Mabhikwa.

In one case, Mr Manamela made stinging and malicious mud splattering allegations against Supreme Court judge Justice Francis Bere forcing him to recuse himself.
Similar allegations were made against one of the lawyers for the respondents, the Registrar of the High Court and all Bulawayo High Court judges whom he accused of corruption and discussing matters before going into court.

“The applicants cannot hoodwink the court. Like a nocturnal bat, justice may appear blind but it can see in the dark. Time has come for the court to stick to its core business because these courts are not for part time games but for genuine resolution of disputes by genuine litigants,” said Justice Mabhikwa.

“In the result, the application is hereby dismissed. Applicants are hereby barred from commencing litigation whatsoever in any court of Zimbabwe in connection with, or concerning the first respondent (Rev Zulu) or AFMA without the leave of a judge or the High Court of Zimbabwe.

Justice Mabhikwa also slapped the applicants with costs of suit at attorney and client scale.
Apart from this case, the applicants had several other cases against Rev Zulu and AFMA.

Mr Manamela’s reaction to unfavourable judgments had been to write defamatory letters of complaint to individual judges and copying to the Judge president George Chiweshe, Chief Justice Luke Malaba and the Judicial Service Commission.

Last year, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi also slammed Messrs Manamela and Nanga for abusing the judiciary system through bringing to court petty squabbles.
He warned the two against using courts as playgrounds, saying transferring chaos into courts would not be tolerated.

This was after Messrs Manamela and Nanga had approached the High Court challenging an order by a magistrate barring them from attending church services.

The court order barred Messrs Manamela and Nanga from accessing church premises at Lobengula Extension in Bulawayo. Chronicle

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