BY CHARLES LAITON/MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has been ordered by the High Court to pay Harare Sports Club a total of US$112 119 in rental arrears after its application challenging an award by an arbitrator was dismissed.
The decision by the court followed an application by the club, which petitioned the court with an application seeking registration of an arbitral award by arbitrator Daniel Tivadar in August 2018.
In his founding affidavit, Harare Sports Club president David Young said sometime in 1999 the two parties entered into a lease agreement, but after sometime a dispute arose regarding the settlement of rental arrears.
Young said the sports club was forced to approach the Labour Court for recourse and after the matter was determined, judgement was granted in the club’s favour leading to the arbitral award which the ZC sought to challenge, but to no avail.
In his judgement, Supreme Court judge Nicholas Mathonsi said the decision reached by Tivadar was supported by full reasons, adding he also applied his mind and came to a conclusion.
“I am unable to see anything contrary to the public policy of Zimbabwe. Surely, public policy cannot be disturbed by a decision adverse to one of the contesting parties,” Mathonsi, who made the ruling when he was still a High Court judge, said.
The judge also said Tivadar’s determination of the rental arrears dispute was above board and nothing warranted the interference of his award by the High Court.
“There can be no doubt that this clause (agreement clause) liberated the arbitrator from the shackles of procedure allowing him to decide the matter in any manner he deemed just and equitable. I do not regard requesting expert evidence on a fair rent to be an act of descending into the arena of battle…,” the judge said dismissing ZC’s assertion that Tivadar had descended into the parties’ impasse.
Mathonsi said ZC’s application for setting aside the arbitral award was clearly meritless and as such could not succeed.
“I have said that both parties agreed that a dismissal of the application for setting aside the award necessarily means that the award should be registered by the grant of the application for registration,” he said and granted an order for registration of the award.
“The application for setting aside of the arbitral award of Daniel Tivadar dated April 10, 2018 and August 28, 2018 is hereby dismissed; the arbitral award….is hereby registered as an order of the High Court of Zimbabwe; the respondent (Zimbabwe Cricket) shall pay the applicant (Harare Sports Club) the sum of US$112 119…”
ZC will also pay interest at the rate of 5% per annum from December 2016 to the date of final payment plus cost of suit.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe cricket team will be looking to bring some cheer to the troubled sport following the recent suspension of the Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led board, when they take on Ireland in a three-match one-day international (ODI) series which begins tomorrow.
The team coached by Indian Lalchand Rajput is low in confidence after a series whitewash in ODIs against minnows Netherlands last week.
Rajput’s men also needed to clinch a super over win in the second of the two-match T20 series to avoid another embarrassing defeat to the Dutch.
In Ireland, Zimbabwe will play three ODIs and three T20 matches with the final match of the two-week tour set for July 14.