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Businessman challenges civil imprisonment over $4,7m debt

BY CHARLES LAITON

BUSINESS mogul Munner Kamruddin Kazi, whose business deal with Oman-based investor Thamer Said Al Shanfari collapsed, has petitioned the High Court seeking rescission of judgment in a matter in which his business partner had sought to have him jailed over a $4,7 million debt.

Kazi further said he was wondering why the matter had been entertained in Zimbabwe, given that when he signed the business deal with Al Shanfari, everything was done in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He said when a default judgment was entered against him in 2015, he was not in wilful default, but his lawyer, one Oscar Hute, had been deregistered by the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ).

“Sometime in 2011, I (Kazi) was given by the respondent (Shanfari), through an agent named Fahada Khan, the sum of $1 500 000 in cash for property investment in Dubai through an investment company called Saimha Trading LLC,” Kazi said in his founding affidavit.

“I submit that in view of the above, it is my averment, based on the advice of my legal practitioners of record, which advice I take to be true and correct, that jurisdiction was never established in the agreement, but it is clear that inherent jurisdiction would lay with the courts of the UAE.”

According to the court papers, Kazi was ordered to pay Shanfari the money owed to him in terms of a judgment issued by the High Court sometime in October 2015. In his statement, filed alongside the court papers, Shanfari said he had failed to secure justice because Kazi had been enjoying political protection in Zimbabwe.

However, through his lawyers, IEG Musimbe and Partners, Kazi said Shanfari was being economic with the truth, given that when he borrowed the money, it was for property investment in Dubai, and was given $1 500 000 of which $300 000 was paid back in 2011, leaving a balance of $1 200 000.

“I submit that the acknowledgment of receipt of money that I signed for was for $1 200 000. However, the acknowledgment attached to the summons has been tampered with to the extent that pages have been removed and replaced with pages that were not part of the original acknowledgement document. The last page appears to be the only true record of the document I signed,” he said.

Kazi further said Shanfari never gave him the money directly, but the money was handled through an investment company called Saimha Trading LLC, although he (Kazi) later paid the remaining balance to Shanfari in 2012.

“… In the circumstances, fairness and the right to be heard, requires the rescission of the default judgment of October 7, 2015.”

The matter is pending.

source:newsday

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