The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and South African Football Association (Safa) won a court reprieve after the High Court of Zimbabwe stopped the auctioning of a bus allegedly owned by Safa.
BY Kevin Mapasure
Daisy Guest House had attached the bus in a bid to recover $162 000 owed to them by Zifa having provided accommodation for the national team.
The bus is one of a fleet donated to southern African football associations after the 2010 World Cup.
Daisy Guest House contends that the bus, which has been attached by the Messenger of Court, is owned by Zifa, while Safa have claimed ownership of the vehicle.
Safa made a High Court application that: “The execution of movable property, a Hyundai 72-seater bus registration number ZGT883GP, placed under attachment in Case No HC6491/16 be and is hereby ordered to be stayed pending determination of application for rescission of default judgment under Case No HC11313/17.”
Justice Erica Ndewere ruled: “That pending the return date the first and second respondent be and are, hereby, ordered to stay execution of the writ of execution issued in case number HC 6491/16.”
The bus was saved from going under the hammer today and Safa want to prove that the bus does not belong to Zifa, but to them and was supposed to be returned to South Africa.
Harare lawyer Itai Ndudzo is representing Safa in the matter.
Daisy’s Guest House successfully sued Zifa and obtained a writ of execution in April this year to recover $161 762 for accommodation, food and beverages provided to the senior men’s football team between January 2014 and June this year.
However, on Wednesday last week, Safa intervened and filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court, seeking to stay the planned auction.
In her founding affidavit in applying for a writ of execution which was granted by High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni in June this year, Daisy’s Guest House director Daisy Rusere, through her lawyer Charles Chinyama, said there were no doubts that the bus belonged to Zifa, but that the association intended to conceal the vehicle’s identity in order to avoid lawsuits.
“For all intents and purposes, this bus was an outright donation by Fifa to several football associations in Southern Africa after the World Cup that was played in South Africa and is a personal property of Zifa. Further, any motor vehicle that finds its way into Zimbabwe carrying foreign registration numbers will, as a matter of law, always have to enter the country with a temporary import permit. There is no exception for motor vehicles which are donated,” Chinyama said.
Ndudzo insisted in his founding affidavit that the bus belonged to his client, but had only been given to Zifa to temporarily use under certain conditions.
“On May 2, 2017, Safa, represented by its chief executive officer Denis Mumble, entered into an agreement with Zifa for the storage, limited use and possession of a Hyundai bus, registration number ZGT883GP. To date, the bus is registered in South Africa in the name of the applicant,” Ndudzo said.
“The primary purpose of the bus was for use by South Africa national teams on their visits to Zimbabwe for friendly matches. However, Zifa was granted limited use of the bus purely on the basis of a mutual understanding shared between two national associations administering football in their respective countries.”