Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa has secured a writ of execution for the attachment of government’s movable property to recover close to $3 000 in legal fees he was awarded by the High Court.
By Everson Mushava
The state was compelled to pay Gandawa’s legal costs by Chief Justice Luke Malaba in July in a matter in which the minister was challenging the constitutionality of his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over allegations of abusing over $400 000 belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
Justice Malaba, in the case in which the National Prosecuting Authority was seeking condonation for the state’s failure to submit its heads of arguments, awarded costs to Gandawa on an attorney-client scale.
Gandawa had filed his heads of arguments on March 8 but the state failed to respond by the March 22 deadline.
The state was supposed to apply for upliftment of the condonation to be allowed to file the heads of arguments which was done on May 3.
The matter was set down for hearing on June 16 and Justice Malaba granted the state the condonation to file their heads of argument, saying it was an important matter.
The NPA failed to pay despite numerous attempts by Gandawa’s lawyers.
Instead, prosecutor-general, Ray Goba wrote to Gandawa’s lawyer Bernard Chidziva of Kantor & Immerman, warning the deputy minister against pursuing the money that was due as per the chief justice’s order.
“I take note of the fact that you were advised that the matter is being attended to in accordance with the procedures that have to be followed in terms of treasury instructions. Notwithstanding that advice, you have threatened further action to recover the costs,” Goba wrote to Chidziva on October 2.
“I advise that your threatened action is wholly unnecessary. You are kindly advised that should you proceed to take whatever threatened action, you shall be solely responsible for the consequences thereof.”
Chidziva in his response reminded Goba that he had requested time to settle the matter and never bothered to explain about the treasury instructions until time lapsed.
“We see no basis for your threat as we seek to recover the money that is due. If the NPA requires more time to pay, it would have been courteous to make such a request and we would have considered the same,” Chidziva’s response read.
The exchanges then forced Gandawa to approach the High Court to secure a writ of execution against movable property which was granted on October 19.
“You are requested and directed to attach and take into execution the movable property of national prosecuting authority the above named applicant of 5th Floor Corner House, L. Takawira/S Matchel Avenue, Harare and of the same cause to be realised the sum of $2 825.50 (two thousand eight hundred and twenty five United States Dollars, fifty cents) which it recovered by a taxed bill of this court dated 24 August 2017, in the above mentioned suit and also all other costs and charges of the plaintiff in the said suit to be hereafter duly taxed to law, besides all your costs thereby incurred,” part of the order read.