Woes mount for pervert ex-CZI boss; loses property over judgement debt

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By Staff Reporter

IT NEVER rains but pours for former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) chief executive Farai Bwatikona Zizhou who was ordered by the High Court to pay his ex-personal assistant Rita Marque Mbatha US$180 000 damages for sexual harassment in 2021.

Zizhou has lost his property worth the same amount after failing to pay the judgement debt to Mbatha.

Efforts to protect the property also hit a brick-wall after the High Court trashed his defective application ruling there was no matter before the court.

Zizhou and Mbatha whom he cited as second respondent have a long history of litigation spanning over two decades to the date Zizhou was ordered to pay.

In the quest of getting what is due to her Mbatha the second respondent instructed the Sheriff to attach Zizhou’s immovable property in Hatfield.

An auction sale of the property on 3 May 2021 did not yield any meaningful results as the highest bidder failed to comply with the conditions of the sale.

The sheriff directed Realty World Pvt Ltd cited as the third respondent to sell the property by private treaty.

This was done and Mbatha (the judgment creditor) emerged as the highest bidder.

Zizhou then objected to the sale arguing that the property was not adequately advertised.

He said Mbatha, the highest bidder did not comply with the conditions of the sale and the property was sold at an unreasonably low price

“It is against public policy that a judgment creditor participates in a sale in execution and offers to buy the property using the judgment debt,” he argued.

But High court judge Justice Priscilla Munangati Manongwa said he had no matter to argue.

“The sanction for failure to comply in this instance is that the matter is regarded as abandoned and is “deemed dismissed.”

“This is by operation of the law hence nothing can be done at this stage to salvage the case

“The applicant did not apply for condonation for failure to comply with the rule.

“The applicant remains non-compliant hence the case is considered abandoned and deemed dismissed. As a consequence there is no matter before me. That being so, there is nothing to determine. In the result, the matter is struck off with costs,” she ruled.

Mbatha won the case following spirited efforts after she was sexually harassed by Zizhou during her time of employment with the CZI over 20 years ago.

She had claimed US$500 000 from both Zizhou and CZI and alleged sexual harassment of female employees at the institution was rampant.

According to electronic messages submitted during the application, Zizhou pestered Mbatha to give in to an affair despite the fact that they were both married.

“Rita, I have used the above caption just in case. Please delete completely immediately after reading. Look at the time I am sending this note-just to show you I could not sleep before writing this note to you Rita.

“I love you very much and wish you could be mine. When I am taking a bath with Clara I always pretend it’s you. The torture is unbearable. It hurts me that when I touch your lovely hand you cringe and ask me to stop. Do I repulse you? I desperately need to kiss you,” Zizhou wrote in an email to Mbatha.

“Shamwari if I do get dismissed, it will be because I would like to do whatever I can for the person I care for most, you. Right now I am under pressure to balance the budget of CZI.

“You have just completed your probation and according to CZI rules, you are not eligible for the general increase for permanent staff, but the small adjustment that is in your appointment letter, I am bending the rule for you.

“Please hold on tight to me – if we crash – we crash together. I am awarding you the same percentage increase as everybody else. I am defending it against the treasurer this morning. Doing so will cost CZI an extra $3 million in employment and other costs for the three people involved.

“The others are lucky to be associated with you. This will wipe out the surplus we were going to make after selling the Land Rover.

The treasurer had made his recommendations following the rule and I have asked Venek to make the changes before he comes for the final meeting this morning.”

Zizhou added: “I feel guilty as it is not right to expropriate you from your husband but unfortunately…

“Please God help me on this one as it has been giving me sleepless nights. You are the love of my love. I will do anything for you.”

The arbitral tribunal in March 2014 found Mbatha was unfairly dismissed and sexually harassed by Zizhou.

Psychiatric reports obtained from Mbatha’s doctors noted that she was severely traumatised by the experience.

Justice Mafusire ruled Mbatha suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder as a result before ordering Zizhou to pay her.