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Prisons boss sued for $137K over ‘debt’

By Tendai Kamhungira

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) boss Paradzayi Zimondi has been dragged to the High Court by the Zimbabwe Farmers Development Company (ZFDC) for allegedly failing to service a $137 000 debt.

Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi
Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi

The High Court has since ordered the attachment of his property to repay the debt.

High Court judge Happious Zhou granted a default judgment in favour of the company in June this year, which prompted the prisons’ boss to file an urgent chamber application seeking a stay of execution.

According to court papers, Zimondi was set to lose farming equipment that includes tractors, a combine harvester and a fuel tank.

In the urgent chamber application, Zimondi told the court that he was surprised to receive a notice of seizure and attachment through his farm employees on September 26, in execution of the court order.

He said he immediately engaged his lawyers to protect his attached property, adding that he has since applied for rescission of judgment, claiming the papers that were used in the court process were fraudulent.

“I reported the fraud to the Zimbabwe Republic Police Commercial Crimes Division…,” he said, adding that he had attached to the court record, “my statement of complaint and the statement by the first respondent (ZFDC)’s representative which confirms that the documents used as acknowledgments of debt were fraudulently signed by another person and they do not bear my signatures.”

He further said that ZFDC acknowledged that the documents do not bear his signature.

“It (ZFDC) also denied that it ever supplied me with a tractor, which in the summons commencing action is clearly mentioned and a claim in the amount of $47 459, 58 is made for it. This clearly affects the validity of the order obtained yet the first respondent is proceeding with execution of the order,” he said.

Zimondi further told the court that the judgment debt is made up of a claim for $81 600 for a 30-tonne truck which, he claims he fully paid for in 2007.

“The truck was not delivered but in its place I received a cheaper 10-tonne dumper truck and a YTO LF 80-90 tractor. I strongly believe that I paid in full for the 30-tonne dumper truck and the tractor instead,” he said.

He also said that there was need to stop the execution process because he was to suffer irreparable harm as his farming activities would be affected.

“I currently have a 40-hectare wheat crop which has been financed under the government Command Agriculture programme. This crop will be adversely affected and I will not only lose the projected harvest but also remain indebted to the Command Agriculture programme for the inputs advanced to me,” he said.

He said he does not have any alternative remedy, adding that he does not have capital to replace equipment, some of which is actually on lease from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Daily News