Friday, 28 September 2018


THE High Court has rescinded an erroneous judgment that barred Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza from threatening and intimidating his political rival in Murehwa South constituency in the July 30 election.

A default judgment was erroneously granted in favour of an independent losing candidate Mr Noah Mangondo after the High Court was made to believe that Minister Matiza had been duly served with court papers, but deliberately chose not to attend court.

The rescinded judgment barred him from making threats to Mr Mangondo and his campaign team, but there was no proof that there was such intimidation.

It also barred Minister Matiza from threatening to withhold presidential inputs as a way of coercing village heads and Mr Mangondo’s supporters to vote him into office.

However, the judgment was issued on mere claims without tangible proof that the minister was guilty of such infractions.

High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe this week set aside the judgment following a successful application by Harare lawyer Mr Nickiel Mushangwe of Mushangwe and Partners.

In the rescission application, Mr Mushangwe argued that his client was not aware of the default judgment until he was served with an election petition in which Mr Mangondo was basing his electoral challenge on alleged intimidation and threats.

Mr Mangondo, in the pending election petition, cited the default judgment to support his claims.

Upon discovery of the existence of the default judgment, Minister Matiza’s lawyers then sought the setting aside of the erroneous decision.

Mr Mushangwe told the court that his client was not aware of the urgent chamber application that led to the granting of the default judgment.

Minister Matiza, he argued, was never served with any papers for the case in question, hence the judgment was granted in error.

The court also heard that the certificate of service filed of record was defective as it did not meet the requirements set out in the rules of the High Court.

The case will now be reopened, Minister Matiza getting an opportunity to outline his defence.

Meanwhile, the petition in which Mr Mangondo is contesting Minister Matiza’s victory is still pending at the Electoral Court. Herald


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