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Mukupe’s default judgment set aside

Deputy Finance minister Terence Mukupe
Former Deputy Finance minister Terence Mukupe

The court of appeal ruled yesterday that Mukupe had a justiciable defence against two judgments granted against him in default, demanding him to pay a collective amount of $58 000.

This comes after Mukupe in July was slapped with a $29 948, 01 default judgment after the Harare International School approached the High Court seeking an order to compel him to settle outstanding tuition fees for his three children.

During the same month, Mukupe had been handed another default judgment for $28 000 in a matter involving a Chinese company, China Industrial International Group (Private) Limited, which was demanding its payment for building his property in Harare.

Mukupe then approached the court, demanding a rescission of the judgments, arguing that he had paid part of the debt to the Chinese company, an indication that he was willing to settle the whole amount. He also said he had settled the school fees, way before the court judgment was entered against him.

High Court judge Nicholas Mathonsi yesterday granted his application for rescission of judgments.

“It is my (Mukupe) averment that although summons were served upon me. I did not file an appearance to defend because I had already paid the amount claimed by the respondent (school) in June 2018 directly into respondent’s bank account when I saw a newspaper article about the respondent’s claim.

“It is my averment that I paid the respondent $30 000 in June 2018…therefore I had extinguished the amount being claimed by the respondent and there was therefore no reason to proceed with claim under case number HC5641/18,” Mukupe had told the court.

“It is my averment that I have a good case and prospects of success if my side of the story is told, heard and listened to. In the circumstances, fairness requires the rescission of the default judgment of July 25, 2018.”

Turning to the Chinese-owned construction firm’s debt, Mukupe said he had equally settled the debt and there was no need for the firm to secure a default judgment.

“This is an application for rescission of a default judgment that was granted against the applicant (Mukupe) on July 4, 2018. I only became aware of the judgment on the day it was granted when my legal practitioners attended court to try and avoid default judgment being granted and postponing the matter after seeing a newspaper article as regards the matter.

“I submit that I was unable to make payment due to some financial constraints earlier on in the year, however, when I was advised by my legal practitioners of the balance being claimed I made a transfer of $14 000 through my legal practitioners of record to the respondent’s legal practitioners. Therefore, I submit that I have always been willing to pay as evidenced by the fact that I had already paid part of the balance and I intend to clear the balance as soon as possible,” the ex-deputy minister said. Daily News.