ZIFA IN COURT VICTORY | ZIFA (Pvt) Ltd finally breathed a sigh of relief after a local company, LED Travel and Tours (Pvt) Ltd, recently conceded that the property it had attached in order to recover over $300 000 owed by the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), was wrongly executed since it did not belong to the football governing body.
In July last year, LED Travel and Tours approached the High Court seeking to compel Zifa to settle its debt and in the process went ahead and obtained a default judgment against Zifa (Pvt) Ltd, which judgment was later rescinded.
The rescission of the judgment followed an application by ZIfa’s director, Abdullah Ishmael Kassim, who filed a court application arguing his company was a separate and distinct legal entity from the football association.
On August 28 this year the Sheriff of the High Court, Macduff Madega, then filed an application seeking confirmation of LED Travel and Tours’ consent to be reduced to an order of the court thereby granting Zifa authority over its property.
In his order issued on September 4, 2017 by Justice Charles Hungwe, the judge ruled: “The claimant’s (Zifa) claim to a certain piece of land situate in the district of Salisbury called stand 1175 of Salisbury Township Lands held under deed number 294/1983 also known as 53 Livingstone Avenue, Harare; and a certain piece of land situate in the district of Salisbury called stand 100 of Kensington Estate held under deed number 8771/1988 and also known as 53 Livingstone Avenue, Harare, placed under attachment in execution of judgment HC4623/12 is hereby granted.
“The notice of attachment of the immovable property dated August 6, 2015 issued by the applicant (Sheriff) is hereby set aside and the properties described therein are declared not executable.
The judgement creditor (LED Travel) is to pay the claimant (Zifa) and the applicant’s costs.”
Before Justice Hungwe’s order, the Sheriff of the High Court had approached the court seeking the confirmation of the consent order between Zifa and LED Travel and Tours, which would effectively put the matter to rest.
“Following the issuing of the interpleader notice, and after the judgment creditor opposed the interpleader, the judgment creditor consented to judgment being granted in the claimant’s favour,” Madega said.
“Accordingly, as contemplated by Order 8 Rule 55 of the rules of this honourable court, the applicant seeks that the consent to judgment be reduced to an order of this honourable court.”
Madega’s position was confirmed by one Bernard Gwarada, who withdrew the matter on behalf of LED Travel and Tours.
“On November 12, 2015, the claimant instructed and caused the applicant to issue an interpleader notice. On November 27, 2015, I instructed my legal counsel to oppose the interpleader and I deposed to an affidavit to this effect,” Gwarada said.
“Thereafter several applications were made in relation to the matter and it has since come to my attention that the property attached was in fact not the judgment debtor’s and I have been convinced that the application was in fact well-grounded.”
He added: “I now, therefore, withdraw my opposition on behalf of the judgment creditor and believe the interpleader should be granted.
Furthermore, I also believe the subject matter, ie, the immovable properties, do belong to the claimant and not the judgment debtor.”