BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by members of the Knowe Residents and Ratepayers Association in Norton, who wanted to have the late Edward Nyanyiwa’s son civil-imprisoned for contempt of court on behalf of his father.
The residents had approached the High Court and sued the late Nyanyiwa, popularly known as Eddies Pfugari, for failing to service their land by not putting up proper drainage systems and roads.
The Pfugari estate was given 90 days by the High Court to comply with the order.
But the late Nyanyiwa died before executing the order and this forced the residents to approach the courts for recourse.
The appeal by the residents followed a judgement delivered by High Court judge Justice David Mangota, who dismissed their application with costs, saying the late Nyanyiwa had been sued in his individual capacity and his estate had nothing to do with issues that existed between the parties.
In their application, the residents had cited Eddies Pfugari (Pvt) Ltd, Nyanyiwa Jnr, the late Nyanyiwa’s estate executor Clever Mandizvidza and Norton Town Council as respondents.
After the dismissal by the High Court, the residents then approached the Supreme Court challenging Mangota’s ruling arguing he had misdirected himself by proceeding to hear arguments after it had already been stated that he was going to dismiss the matter.
The Supreme Court, however, upheld Mangota’s judgement saying the matter had been conclusively dealt with by the courts and could not be reopened.
“The sentences, which the applicant moved the court to mete out to the late Nyanyiwa were duly imposed on each,” reads part of the judgement.
“The applicant cannot revisit the crime of contempt of court as against the first respondent as it is doing in casu (in this case).
“That matter was conclusively dealt with.
“It cannot, therefore, be reopened in the manner which the applicant is seeking to do in this application,” the Supreme Court ruled.
The Supreme Court ruled that the residents did not explain in their application why they joined the first respondent in the application.
“The applicant does not proffer a satisfactory explanation of why it sued the third respondent Mandizvidza,” the judgement added.
“The applicant’s citation of Mandizvidza without any justification exposes the confusion with which it processed this application.
“It makes a mockery of justice for the applicant to suggest that Nyanyiwa, who has no constraints placed upon him by the High Court, should be declared to be guilty of contempt of court.
“The applicant cannot state it proved any contempt against Nyanyiwa on a balance of probability, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt.”