Chinotimba wins macadamia nuts debt fight, Judge chastises Chinese firm

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By Mary Taruvinga

A High Court judge has given Buhera South legislator, Joseph Chinotimba the green-light to attach a property belonging to Chinese owned firm, Sunny Zimbabwe International in order to recover US$65 755 debt for supplied macadamia nuts.

The 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 application saying there was no justification in challenging the move.

Chikowero had no kind words for the Chinese whom he accused of abusing court processes.

“I dismissed the application with costs on the higher scale because I took the view that it was an abuse of court process,” said the Judge.

He added: “The sole ground of appeal is clear evidence that the learned judge’s decision, even if leave to appeal were not required, was not in fact appealed against. Cognisant of my sworn duty to administer justice, I could not shut my eyes to the manifest fact that the ground of appeal was meaningless.

“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 proper to sanction such a flagrant abuse of court process by staying execution pending nothing.”

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

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

Chinotimba is being represented by his lawyers, Venturas and Samkange Legal Practitioners.

The directors of the Sunny Zimbabwe International, Mai Tao Ming, Luo Su Yuan, Lin Qianlong and Lin Shuen were the applicants in the present matter.

The court heard that sometime in February last year, 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, 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 US$65 000, but despite demand, the firm and its directors had failed and/or neglected to settle the balance.