Chinotimba, Chinese Firm US$65k Macadamia Nuts Debt Fight Settled

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE legal dispute in which Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba was seeking to recover a US$65 755 debt from a Chinese owned firm, Sunny Zimbabwe International, has finally been settled after years of fighting.

Supreme Court judge, Paddington Garwe struck off two pending appeals from the roll on Tuesday after both parties managed to settle their disputes with consent.

Chinotimba won the case last year and was given the green light to attach property belonging to Sunny Zimbabwe International in order to recover a debt for supplied macadamia nuts.

Lawyers appearing for both parties, G Madzoka and Advocate Slyvester Hashiti confirmed that parties had settled the matter.

“The case has been removed from the roll with no order as to costs,” said the judge in respect to both cases.

Last year, the Chinese firm had petitioned the High Court for an order to stop the legislator from auctioning its property, but High Court Judge Benjamin Chikowero dismissed the order saying there was no justification in challenging the move.

Chikowero had no kind words for the Chinese firm and accused it of abusing court processes.

“It meant to me that there was in any event no appeal at all but a piece of paper filed with the registrar of the Supreme Court. I did not think it is proper to sanction such a flagrant abuse of court process by staying execution pending nothing,” said Chikowero then.

The firm then approached the Supreme Court with an appeal and to save its property.

Chinotimba first petitioned the High Court seeking an order compelling the company to settle the debt in 2018 before a default judgment was granted in his favour.

The Chinese-owned firm and its five directors then filed an urgent chamber application appealing against the default judgment.

Justice Tawanda Chitapi dismissed the appeal prompting the aggrieved party to seek redress.

The company argued in vain that at law, the noting of an appeal stops the legislator from attaching its property.

The directors of Sunny Zimbabwe International are; Mai Tao Ming, Luo Su Yuan, Lin Qianlong and Lin Shuen.

Chinotimba’s declaration forming part of the summons, says sometime in February 2018, he entered into an oral agreement with the Chinese firm’s directors for the sale of his macadamia nuts to their company for US$220 000 payable the following month.

He said he immediately delivered the macadamia nuts to the company at Lot 1 Laughing Water in Chipinge.

“Ming, Yuan, Qianlong and Shuen stood as guarantors for the due performances by the first defendant,” said the legislator.

Chinotimba further said the Chinese firm managed to pay US$154 000, leaving a balance of $US65 000, but despite demand, the firm and its directors had failed and, or neglected to settle the balance.