Harare lawyer fails in bid to claim US$58k compensation from council

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By Mary Taruvinga

HARARE lawyer Tungamirayi Muganhiri suffered a blow last week after failing to claim US$58,666 compensation for a stand he bought from Harare city council in 2019.

It later turned out that the same stand had already been sold to someone else, prompting Muganhiri to approach the courts seeking compensation from the local authority.

The High Court granted him the sum of ZW$44,620 after ruling that he was trying to capitalise on the local authority.

Muganhiri had requested compensation in the form of a stand of equivalent size to the one he paid for.

Delivering judgement, Justice Jacob Manzunzu ordered the City of Harare to pay back the buying price of 2019 and costs of suit.

“It is trite law (laws that are common or obvious) that damages are claimed only for financial loss … the onus to prove financial loss rests with the applicant. In other words the applicant must prove the actual damages suffered,” read the judgement.

In casu (throughout the judicial action) the applicant has only shown the value of the property he intended to buy, not even at the time performance was expected but some two years later.

“He paid in Zimbabwean dollars and he is now claiming damages with the value in US$. The applicant is certainly trying to unjustifiably capitalise on the breach by the respondent.

“In the circumstances he can only be entitled to a reimbursement of the money he paid. The application succeeds to the following extent: the respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay the applicant the sum of ZW$44,620.00, respondent to pay costs of suit.”