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Nyarota, Daily News court case continues

by Staff reporter
23 Mar 2017 at 05:28hrs | Views

THE battle between Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the Daily News, and its founding editor, Geoffrey Nyarota, continues after the latter won a court battle for condonation to allow him to file his heads of arguments, effectively resuscitating the case.

A Labour Court judge handed down a default judgment against the veteran journalist after his lawyers failed to file his heads of arguments.

ANZ fired Nyarota in 2010 and was supposed to pay him an arbitral award of $90 921 after losing a labour case against their former editor. However, the newspaper group challenged the court ruling and won in 2012.

Nyarota, who is now representing himself, approached the Labour Court seeking to have the judgment in favour of ANZ thrown out, blaming his lawyers, Scanlen and Holderness, for doing a shoddy job.

The veteran journalist argued before Justice Betty Chidziva that he had lost to ANZ because his lawyers had failed to file papers with the courts within the time frame required by law despite having undertaken to have done so and this resulted in him not being able to present his matter before the courts.

"On November 11, 2013, Mr Farirai from the registrar's office addressed a letter to Scanlen and Holderness and requested the applicant to file heads of arguments so that the matter could be finalised. On 26 November 2013, Scanlen and Holderness advised that heads of arguments would be filed by December 2, 2013. The heads were never filed," Nyarota submitted in court.

He pleaded with the courts to allow him a chance to have his day in court so that he would not lose the matter on the incompetence of his lawyers.

ANZ, represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, had, however, argued that Nyarota's application was improperly before the court, saying the Labour Court had no jurisdiction to alter a ruling made by the Judge President.

ANZ also argued that both judgments had been brought before the courts well out of time and, therefore, should not be entertained.
In a March 10 judgment, Justice Chidziva ruled against ANZ, breathing life in Nyarota's case, and ordered that the registrar should set down the application for hearing.

Nyarota will now apply to have the judgment in favour of ANZ rescinded and also to have a chance to file his heads in the matter.

Source - newsday