PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s nephew Leo Mugabe has been ordered by the High Court to surrender business premises he had seized from a Chinese firm on Tuesday last week.
Report by Charles Laiton
Mugabe is accused of having unilaterally taken over 5th Floor, Coal House at number 17 Nelson Mandela Avenue where offices of a Chinese firm, Hwange Coal Gasification Company, are located.
The firm’s lawyer Everson Samukange accused Mugabe’s nephew of applying the “laws of the jungle” and that it was Mugabe’s actions that prompted the Chinese firm to seek the intervention of the courts.
“He (Mugabe) had taken the law into his hands. He had no court order authorising him to act in that manner. He was applying the law of the jungle, that is the reason why we went to court,” Samukange said.
On Wednesday last week, Mugabe is said to have ordered all the firm’s employees based at Coal House to leave the premises following which he allegedly secured the premises with new locks.
Samukange said Mugabe had declared to have taken over the firm with the intention of changing the management board and the whole company set-up.
Mugabe’s actions then led to an urgent chamber application by the Chinese firm seeking to bar the President’s nephew from seizing the company.
Hwange Coal Gasification Company is owned by a Chinese firm Taiyuan Sanxin Economic and Trade Company with a 75% shareholding, while the other 25% shareholding is held by Hwange Colliery.
High Court judge Justice Francis Bere on Friday ruled that: “The applicant (Hwange Coal Gasification) and its officials be and hereby restored unhindered possession and control of 5th Floor, Coal House, 17 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare.
“The respondent (Mugabe) and anyone claiming rights through him be and is hereby ordered to maintain peace and undisturbed possession and access to the Applicant, its officials and its employees to the 5th Floor, Coal House.”
Justice Bere also ordered Mugabe and anyone claiming rights through him to “immediately and forthwith” return any documents, offices and office keys and any other such effects to the Chinese firm.
The matter was heard under case number HC4386/13.