Cleric loses fight against litigation fees after suing Justice Minister, Attorney General

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By Staff Reporter

A Chivhu based pastor, Abinel Mukaro, who was fighting against a directive that litigants should pay the High Court registrar one percent of the amounts they will be claiming from respondents has lost the legal battle after his application was dismissed.

The directive was issued under Statutory Instrument  (SI) 221 of 2020 and he wanted it declared unconstitutional.

According to the SI, a litigant should pay the Sheriff an amount for the service of the summons.

Mukaro sued Justice minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney General, Prince Machaya last year complaining that the SI was an obstacle to those who seek justice.

The minister and the AG defended application saying the regulations were not discriminatory but essential.

“The fees in question are a compulsory obligation. They were fixed by the minister who is empowered by s57 of the High Court Act to do so. They are therefore subsid legislation and are deemed to be an act of the legislature itself, ” ruled Justice Munamato Mutevedzi sitting at the Harare High Court.

“It is for the public benefit because the services they are intended to contribute to are funded from public money anyway. In all material respects therefore, I hold that Court fee fall into a category of taxes,” he ruled.