Buyanga Escapes Jail Over US$283 000 Debt

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court judge, Mary Zimba Dube has put to an end a long-running legal feud between controversial businessman Frank Buyanga and a Harare couple over a US$282 640 debt.

Since 2016, Tawanda and Winnie Jakachira were seeking Buyanga’s imprisonment over a US$282 640 debt he was failing to settle. The dispute was centred around a house in Greendale suburb, Harare.

In July last year, the Jakachira couple petitioned the High Court to institute civil imprisonment over the debt it was by the millionaire businessman.

The Jakachiras claimed the debt arose in 2016 after the sale of company shares, but the case was withdrawn after it was argued at the High Court.

In the court case, the Jakachiras demanded US$120 000 for capital debt, US$120 000 interest on the capital debt, US$10 000 agent’s commission, US$2 400 for drawing up an agreement of sale, US$13 240 being commission and US$17 000 being costs of arbitration, bringing the total to US$282 640.

According to summons he had filed, Buyanga was required to pay the amount by virtue of a judgment obtained against him in the High Court in Harare on February 3, 2016.

The couple wanted him to appear before the High Court and explain why he has not paid the amount and convince the court why he should not be sent to jail.

As the fight ensued, the Jakachiras also sought to serve Buyanga with summons through the press arguing that the Sheriff could not find Buyanga at three of his known businesses and residential addresses.

Their only remedy, they said, was to apply for leave to serve the said summons for civil imprisonment by way of substituted service.

The case had been dragging on since then.

However, Buyanga had his own complaints against the couple.

He said the matter emanated from a purported sale of shares and subsequent arbitration proceedings which culminated in the attachment of his immovable property and the possible sale.

Buyanga said the Jakachiras alleged they paid a purchase price of US$120 000 to him for the shares but had failed to produce genuine proof of payment.

He accused them of having availed fraudulent documents in the form of a letter signed by one Simon Charewa.

Buyanga said because no money was paid to the seller, there was no way the Jakachiras should be paid back money which they never parted with.

He said the fact that a report had been made to the police and was being investigated means that there was a possibility of criminal prosecution.

“The respondents can keep the property under judicial attachment pending the finalisation of the investigation such that their interests would be protected.

“If the investigation reveals that I was not paid any money for the alleged shares and neither (Buyanga’s company) paid the US$120 000, then at the end of the day I would not have lost and in the unlikely event that there is such genuine proof of payment, the auction will go ahead without any problems,” Buyanga argued.