By A Correspondent- The High Court has confirmed the provisional order granted on February 28 last year for stay of execution of a judgment allowing Tony Sarpo to attach former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s property over a US$226 000 debt.
Mujuru and her company, Ruzirun Investments, had in September 2019 approached the High Court seeking an order stopping Sabrina and Tony Sarpo from attaching her property.
The former Vice-President owes over US$226 000 to the Sarpos through their company Peppy Motors (Pvt) Ltd, which is demanding the money at the interbank rate.
Mujuru, in her application for stay of execution, said the company had issued a writ of execution and notice of attachment despite an application for rescission of judgment under HC6283/19. She then made an application for confirmation of the provisional order granted on February 28, 2020.
The relief, which was granted in that provisional order, was for stay of execution of the judgment granted in favour of the couple and their company in case No HC 2954/18 and for an order for the release of any property which might or could have been attached in execution of that judgment.
Mujuru also sought costs on the respondents on the attorney-client scale and the Sarpos had opposed her application.
High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou ruled in her favour.
Justice Zhou said Mujuru’s liabilities, expressed in United States dollar, falls under the ambit of the provisions of the Statutory Instrument.
“It does not matter that the parties continued to express the liabilities in US dollars even after the effective date,” Justice Zhou ruled.
“The deeming effect of the regulations means that the expression of those values must be read in light of the express provisions of the law. The deed of settlement and order by consent did not create any new liabilities but merely pronounced on the existing liabilities of the applicants.
“Any other reading of the law would defeat the very purpose of the law which was meant to convert assets and liabilities which existed at the time of the effective date and were expressed in US dollars to RTGS at the rate of 1;1.”
He said Mujuru’s obligation is to pay the debt in the local currency at the rate of 1:1 to the US dollar.
In 2012, Sabrina and Sarpo, who are in the business of selling farming equipment, obtained a loan from Steward Bank which they used to buy various farming machinery. They sold the equipment to Mujuru’s company and an agreement of sale was entered into on July 25, 2015.
Parties then entered into a deed of settlement on May 25 this year after Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 had been gazetted and Mujuru paid $76 000 on June 5 this year.
Four days later, the Sarpos requested payment at interbank rate.