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Mujuru's ally ordered to pay $27 000 legal fees

by Staff reporter
01 Dec 2016 at 04:40hrs | Views

THE High Court has ordered former Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa to pay lawyers who represented him in his legal battles with the ruling party, outstanding legal fees to the tune of $27 000.

Mutasa together with Rugare Gumbo and Temba Mliswa were last year expelled from Zanu-PF for allegedly trying to topple President Mugabe.

Mutasa and Gumbo are now with a new political outfit, Zimbabwe People First, while Mliswa is now legislator for Norton on an independent candidate ticket.

The trio engaged the services of Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel to fight their expulsion.

They also sought to nullify the amendment made to the revolutionary party's constitution at the 2014 National People's Congress. After filing several applications, the trio later chickened out and dropped the challenge.

However, the lawyers billed them $26 000 for the work done, but the trio did not pay.

The lawyers approached the High Court early this year claiming the outstanding fees.

However, last week, Justice Felistus Chatukuta issued a default judgment against Mutasa and ordered him to pay the $26 000 plus interest. Gumbo and Mliswa are contesting the claim and their matter is yet to be heard at the High Court.

Justice Chatukuta ordered Mutasa (first defendant in the suit) to pay the $26 000 after he failed to turn up for the case.

"Whereupon, after reading documents filed of record, it is ordered that the first defendant (Mutasa) be and is hereby ordered to pay the plaintiff the sum of $26 919,25, plus interest on the above amount at the prescribed rate calculated from the date of issue of summons to the date of full and final payment," the judge ruled.

The judge also ordered Mutasa to pay costs of the suit.

Mutasa, Gumbo and Mliswa made headlines between 2015 and early this year for frequenting the High Court with suits against Zanu-PF.

For the legal suits, the highly litigious trio enjoyed the services of Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel when they did not have the capacity to pay the law firm.

Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel raised a bill for all the services rendered but the three failed to pay.

After unsuccessfully trying all the avenues to recover the debt, the law firm issued summons at the High Court claiming the outstanding $26 000 from the politicians. When the three were expelled from Zanu-PF last year, they approached the law firm seeking legal services.

"As a result of their expulsion, they approached the plaintiff and retained the plaintiff for the provision of several legal services related to their expulsion from the aforesaid political party.

"The services included challenging the aforesaid expulsion and seeking the enforcement of certain constitutional rights," reads part of the plaintiff's declaration.

In coming up with the bill, the law firm charged the trio for all opted services rendered and for all court attendances in terms of the Law Society of Zimbabwe General Tariff of 2011.

No guarantee of success was given nor was failure of the cases a basis for non-payment of the due fees, the lawyers argued.

The trio lost all their cases at the High Court and the Supreme Court and became evasive in terms of settling the legal bill.

Mutasa and Gumbo were represented in a High Court case in which they were contesting expulsion from Zanu-PF under HC1914 and they left a balance of $2 950.

The lawyers are also claiming $5 181 from Mutasa and Mliswa for legal services rendered while they were pursuing another case at the Constitutional Court registered under CCZ 10/15.

Mutasa is being separately sued $1 380 for services in a case he required spoliation order against the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Mutasa and Mliswa were also charged $12 463 in another constitutional challenge filed under CCZ 9/15 at the Constitutional Court. The law firm also claimed $4 945 from Mutasa for representing him in a case he was fighting the Constituency Elections Office.

The lawyers wanted the trio to pay costs of the suit and to be obliged to pay interest on the total figures owed at the rate of 5 percent per annum calculated from the date of issuance of the summons to the date of payment in full.

Source - the herald