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Bulawayo comedian faces jail over debt

Popular Bulawayo socialite, stand-up comedian and radio presenter Babongile Sikhonjwa faces imprisonment if he fails to comply with a court order issued against him to pay outstanding money in rentals.


Sikhonjwa owes the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Contributory Pension Fund $749,35 for the property he rents for business in Bulawayo. He operates a business at corner Robert Mugabe Way and 11th Avenue called Red cafe.

NRZ Contributory Pensions Fund represented by Bruce Masamvu filed summons for civil imprisonment at the Bulawayo Provincial Magistrates Courts in which it sought an order compelling Sikhonjwa to settle the rental arrears.

“The defendant is called upon to pay plaintiff the sum of $745, 35 and costs. You are required to pay this sum by virtue of judgement obtained against you in the magistrates court at Bulawayo on March 28 2014 under which you were ordered to pay the sum of $749 35, interest thereon and were also ordered to pay costs of that case,” reads the summons.

“If you fail to pay the sum specified above, you must appear before the magistrate court of Bulawayo on February 12 2018 at 9 am to explain why you have not paid it and to show cause why an order for your imprisonment should not be made on account of your failure to pay.

“You should bring evidence of your financial position and it will be in your interest to give the court evidence of your income from wages, salary or other earnings and any other income you may receive from any source.”

The applicant indicated that the court will conduct an inquiry into Sikhonjwa’s financial position and depending on the circumstances; it may not commit him to prison but instead give him further time to pay the sum due or direct him to pay it in installments over a specified period.

“You are at liberty to approach the judgement creditor before the date of the hearing and make an offer of settlement of the sum due. Unless you pay the plaintiff the sum specified or unless the plaintiff accepts an offer of settlement which you have made to him, you must appear before the magistrates court on the date and at the time specified. If you do not do so a writ of personal attachment may be issued against you and you may be committed to prison,” reads the summons.

Sikhonjwa is yet to respond to the summons.

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