Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma has won a case in which a Harare electricity consumer, Patrick Chiremba, had approached the High Court seeking nullification and the setting-aside of the appointment of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) board by the minister.
Yesterday, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu threw away the application by Chiremba who sought a default judgment against Mangoma, Zera and six appointed board members, cited as respondents under case number HC9184/12.
In his judgment, Bhunu said: “It is accordingly ordered that default judgment shall not be granted in this case until such time the applicant has complied with the above procedural steps. Costs shall be costs in the cause (only proven costs to be paid).”
The minister and Zera board members were served with the application on February 12 this year and were expected to file their notice of opposition within 10 working days, but did so a day after the expiry of the filing date.
Chiremba then approached the High Court seeking a default judgment, arguing the respondents were barred by operation of the law in terms of rule 83 and 85.
But Justice Bhunu said having regard to the fact that the respondents were out of time by merely a day, the ends of justice could be served by giving them a chance to deal with their apparently defective opposing papers.
He further said allowing Chiremba to “snatch at a judgment as appeared to be the case in the present application” could only compromise the ends of justice.
In his application, Chiremba argued that the Zera board was illegal and it followed that it was unlawfully levying public funds by withdrawing salaries and allowances in a conduct he described as theft.
However, in his opposing affidavit, the minister claimed President Robert Mugabe had duly approved the appointments, a claim dismissed by Chiremba as false.