By Mashudu Netsianda
The High Court in Bulawayo has ordered the MP for Vungu in the Midlands Province, Omega Sibanda to pay back a personal loan of US$6 750 which he got from a local freelance photographer eight years ago.
The former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) vice president and his wife, Emily were taken to court by Ms Irene Ganyanhewe and Mr Charles Ganyanhewe who is a freelance photographer, for failing to settle the debt.
The ruling by Justice Maxwell Takuva follows an application for a summary judgment filed at the Bulawayo High Court by the two applicants through their lawyers, Webb, Low and Barry, citing Sibanda and Emely as respondents.
The judge ruled that the defence proffered by the Sibanda and his wife lacked merit.
“Applicants and respondents entered into an acknowledgement of debt in the sum of US$6 750 and respondents refused to pay the claimed amount and are now in default. In my view, the defence raised is not bona fide and is not supported by the facts alleged in the opposing affidavit,” said Justice Takuva.
“Accordingly, it is ordered that the judgment be and hereby entered against first and second respondents to pay the sum of US$6 750 being the principal amount owing.”
Justice Takuva ordered the respondents to pay the money with a five percent interest per annum calculated from June 2, 2011 to the date of full payment including the legal costs.
In papers before the court, between May 17 and 21, 2011, Sibanda and his wife acknowledged in writing that the amount due and owing was US$6 750.
They received the money in two instalments from the applicants.
However, in their opposing affidavits, Sibanda and his wife argued that the additional US$1 750 was a defaulting interest at usurious rates hence the illegality of the entire agreement.
In terms of the acknowledgement, the money was to be paid in two instalments on June 15 and 21, 2011 respectively.
According to the agreement signed by the parties on June 7, 2011, it was stated that there would be a penalty charged in the event that the respondents fail to pay the debt on agreed dates.
It was, however, not mentioned in court papers what Sibanda and his wife intended to use the money for.
The applicants said Sibanda and his wife have despite acknowledging the debt, failed to pay the money.
The respondents opposed the application on the grounds that they had a good and bona fide defence to the claim. They argued that the applicants’ cause of action has not been verified.
In 2017, Sibanda and his wife were taken to the same court by a Bulawayo doctor after they allegedly borrowed from him more than $13 000, which they failed to pay back. The Chronicle