PROPHET IN FRAUD BATTLE WITH BUSINESSMAN
He is not turning the other cheek. Charismatic man-of-God Dr Prophet Blessing Chiza — founder of Eagle Life Assembly church in Bulawayo has sued a local businessman for defrauding him of $2 400.
John Chingonzoh, director of Winnerman Engineering (Pvt) Ltd situated in Belmont Industrial Site, was sued by Dr Prophet Chiza after he allegedly neglected, refused or shown disinterest in supplying and fitting a perforated roller shutter gate at his mansion in Reigate.
The stinging legal fight began in July last year when Prophet Chiza sent summons to Chingonzoh advising him that he breached their agreement of supplying and fitting a perforated roller shutter gate at his house.
Prophet Chiza, in his declaration, stated that he paid the whole amount of $2 400 through a bank transfer on 2 March 2017 towards the supplying and fitting a perforated roller shutter gate.
“Plaintiff (Dr Prophet Chiza) and defendant (Chingonzoh) entered into an agreement sometime in February 2017 where defendant was tasked to supply and fit a perforated roller shutter gate at plaintiff’s residential address at an amount of $ 2 400.
“Plaintiff paid the whole amount of $2 400 through a bank transfer on 2 March 2017. Despite demand by plaintiff from defendant to discharge his obligation, the latter has neglected, refused or shown disinterest in supplying and fitting the gate.
“Wherefore the plaintiff prays for the following order, payment of the sum of $2 400 at the prescribed rate and cost of suit at an attorney and client scale,” reads the suit in part. When Chingonzoh failed to enter an appearance to defend himself within the prescribed time (seven days), Prophet Chiza applied for a default judgment which was granted on 22 September 2017.
The ruling didn’t go down well with Chingonzoh who through his lawyers, Ncube and Partners, promptly filed for rescission of judgment claiming the judgment was erroneously granted against him.
“This is an application for rescission of default judgment erroneously granted against me on 22 September 2017. I am advised that such an application has no time limit as it relates to issues of law, which can be raised anytime. I am further advised that this Honourable Court had jurisdiction to set aside any judgments granted in error.
“I am the director of Winnerman Engineering (Pvt) Ltd and sometime in May 2017, Winnerman Engineering (Pvt) Ltd and respondent entered into a contract wherein the aforementioned company was to supply and fit two roller doors. An amount of $2 400 was transferred into Winnerman Engineering (Pvt) Ltd’s bank account.
“Winnerman Engineering (Pvt) Ltd duly preformed their obligations in terms of the contract as they supplied the respondent with two roller shutter doors. Further I was advised by my legal practitioners that a company is a legal entity that can be sued and sue in its own capacity and thus Winnerman Engineering (Pvt) Ltd had separate legal existence,” argued Chingonzoh.
He declared that he was cited erroneously in the summons in that there were no contractual obligations that existed between Dr Prophet Chiza and him while adding that on that basis, the default judgment was “null and void”.
Chingonzoh’s application for a rescission of judgment apparently courted the anger of Prophet Chiza who promptly filed a counter application in which he launched a scathing attack on the businessman saying individuals should not go about forming companies they use as conduits to commit acts of fraud and conveniently use the entity as a shield to avoid legitimate claims.