LEBANESE businessman Jamal Joseph Ahmed, who is embroiled in a $1,4 million diamond ring wrangle with First Lady Grace Mugabe, has been slapped with a $1,475 million default judgment after failing to defend a claim filed against him by a local businessman, Ratai Abass Ahmed.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Jamal is currently out of the country and his three upmarket properties were allegedly seized by Grace and her son Russel Goreraza after a diamond ring deal fell through. However, Grace has since claimed the property seizure was a police action which had nothing to do with her.
Ratai filed a chamber application for a default judgment on June 28 this year seeking to recover his money which he allegedly advanced to Jamal as a personal loan some 10 years ago. Ratai had issued summons against Jamal on May 5 this year and the latter failed to respond, prompting his business partner to apply for a default judgment, which was granted by High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni on July 24, 2017.
An order by Justice Makoni read in part: “Whereupon after reading documents filed of record, it is ordered that judgment be entered in favour of the plaintiff (Ratai) in the sum of $1,457 million, interest thereon at the rate of 5% per annum calculated from December 8, 2008 to date of full payment plus cost of suit on a legal practitioner and client scale.”
According to Ratai, the lawsuit emanated from the duo’s loan agreement entered between the parties on December 10, 2008.
Ratai said on the date and month in question, he gave Jamal a loan advance amounting to $1 475 000 and in terms of the agreement Jamal was supposed to have repaid the whole amount on or before February 28, 2009.
“Defendant (Jamal) duly signed an acknowledgement of debt confirming indebtedness to plaintiff (Ratai) and arranged for a payment plan which defendant never fulfilled,” Ratai said.
“Sometime in May 2016 defendant had made an attempt to pay $302 000, but unilaterally terminated the transfer of the money and defendant remains in breach thereof.”
The businessman further said in breach of the terms and conditions of the agreement, Jamal, despite demand on diverse occasions, had refused, neglected and/or failed to fulfil his contractual agreement, prompting his business partner to seek the intervention of the court to recover his cash.