By Miriam Mangwaya
The Supreme Court has refused to hear flamboyant businessman Frank Buyanga Sadiqi’s application of condonation in his appeal against a High Court ruling in the long running child custody battle with his ex-girlfriend.
Justice Tendai Uchena ruled in favour of Chantelle Tatenda Muteswa, who opposed Buyanga’s application for condonation, arguing that he had violated several court orders in relation to the custody dispute, hence was not eligible to be entertained at the courts.
Uchena ordered that Buyanga and Muteswa’s son should be presented in court to satisfy himself that the boy was alive before he could sit to decide on whether or not to grant Buyanga’s application.
Last year, High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu ordered Buyanga to return his minor son to his mother within 24 hours, either to Muteswa’s residence or to Waterfalls police station in Harare.
But the businessman appealed against the judge’s order at the Supreme Court under case SC 125/2020.
However, Buyanga did not follow up on his appeal until the matter was struck off the roll.
Buyanga later applied for condonation for his appeal to be reinstated arguing that he needed time to peruse the papers.
Muteswa, represented by lawyer Munyaradzi Bwanya opposed the application before Uchena on the basis of the “dirty hands doctrine”, arguing that Buyanga had failed to comply with several court orders in relation to the matter.
She argued that Buyanga was a fugitive, who was wanted by the police in a matter in which he was being accused of kidnapping the child early last year.
“We argued that Buyanga cannot be heard at the courts when he had violated court orders in relation to the custody dispute,” Bwanya said.
“He was ordered by a court that he had to return the child to his mother, but he failed.
“In another court ruling, it was ordered that the child’s passport should be kept at the registrar’s office, but he violated the court order.
“He also violated a court order that he should not take the child out of the country without the consent of his mother.”
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court overturned High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou’s ruling issued last year, which granted joint custody of the child between Buyanga and Muteswa.
The Supreme Court ruled that Zhou made his determination without checking if the joint custody was in the best interests of the child.
Muteswa claims that he does not know where the child is, after he was taken away from her by his father.
The custody dispute between Buyanga and his ex-girlfriend dates back to 2014. The Standard