Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Court bars serial litigant

By Fidelis Munyoro

A serial litigant who filed numerous applications seeking to retain the occupation of a house which he is not entitled to has been declared a vexatious litigant by the High Court and his future access to the court has been restricted.

Mr Newton Dongo launched a litany of applications at the higher court in a bid to retain the occupation of the property, which does not belong to him but to Mr Amos Matengambiri.

In more than seven court processes, Mr Dongo sought an order declaring him the owner of the property.

This prompted Mr Matengambiri to approach the same court for a decree of perpetual silence against the litigious Mr Dongo.

He argued Dongo had become a nuisance to both the court and the applicant and the several court processes where meant to frustrate him.

After hearing arguments from both parties, Justice Owen Tagu granted the application by Mr Matengambiri for perpetual silence against Mr Dongo.

In his ruling, the judge noted that there had been repeated and persistent litigation between the same parties, with Mr Dongo filing more than seven applications fighting tooth and nail to have himself declared the rightful owner of the property.

He did this with full knowledge that he did not make a legitimate claim, the judge noted, finding that Mr Dongo’s behaviour was befitting that of a vexatious litigant.

In addition, the judge said Mr Dongo’s behaviour clogged the courts and put the applicant under unnecessary legal expenses.

“I am, therefore, fortified in my belief that the respondent is a vexatious litigant who has clogged the courts with a litany of groundless litigation in a bid to retain occupation of property which does not belong to him.

“The respondent has become a nuisance both to court and the applicant,” said the judge interdicting Mr Dongo from instituting any litigation against Mr Matengambiri.

Justice Tagu said courts had a duty to guard against abuses such as those instituted by Mr Dongo.

He said where there was unmitigated abuse as in the present case, it was only proper for the court to shut its doors or put in place terms on how one may be allowed to exercise his or her rights of access to the courts. The Herald