The duel between Jayesh Shah’s Al Shams Global and Equity Properties has taken a new twist, with a client expressing interest to make a joinder application in favour of the property concern.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
Under HC10972/17, Al Shams Global BVI Limited wants the court to rescind another court judgment which granted Equity Properties leave to sue them.
The matter has been setdown for hearing today before Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa.
Equity is suing Al Shams to recover a Title Deed for an upmarket residential project.
An Equity Properties client Paul Chidawanyika has sprang to property concern’s side and has informed Al Shams of his intention to enjoin the case.
In a letter to Al Shams, Chidawanyika said Shah’s company was breaking the law on the basis that it is a foreign company (peregrinus) when everyone is supposed to be equal before the law.
Chidawanyika said the law on peregrinus should fall away because it was not aligned to the Constitution or the matter must be referred to Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of such peregrinus law.
“In this regard by seeking a rescission of the judgement under case HC3254/17, Mr Jayesh Shah’s company is tantamount to saying I can sue you, but you are not allowed to sue me because I am a foreign company (peregrinus) even if I am machining money unlawfully from your country. As a foreign company, I have access to your courts, but you do not have such access,” he wrote in a letter dated March 15.
The letter will be an attachment to Chidawanyika’s affidavit which will be deposed today.
Chidawanyika said such peregrinus law “appears to be a colonial relic which is out of line with our new Constitution”.
“In this regard the application for a joinder will basically ensure that there is a fair hearing on the matters against Mr Jayesh Shah,” he said.
Equity was granted a court order to sue Al Shams for damages of at least $10 million and in September attached the $25 million asset ceded to Al Shams by Interfin. The property concern wants to recover the Title Deed for its Golden CT, an upmarket housing project.
Equity had used the Title Deed, Deed Transfer number 9068/08, as collateral to access a $1,6 million credit facility from Interfin Bank, which is currently under liquidation.
It repaid the loan in 2016, but Interfin’s liquidator failed to return the title deed despite promises to do so within days after the repayment. It later emerged that the Title Deed had been transferred to Shah’s Al Shams.
Chidawanyika, who purchased stand number 2148 from Equity in 2016, said the stand had not been transferred to him as Al Shams is holding the Title Deed of Equity Properties.
Chidawanyika said inquiries from Equity Properties showed that it intended to file a case for vindication of its property.
“Hence I also intend to enjoin such vindication case against Al Shams Global as soon as my application for joinder has been approved in order to protect my interest,” he wrote.
Equity Properties, Chidawanyika said, had sold more than 300 subdivisions of Lot 3 of Bannock to different purchasers including him. He said Equity and the purchasers had invested more than $30 million against Shah’s claim of $2,2 million.
“Al Shams Global’s claim should be on Interfin Bank and not on Equity Properties or on my stand because Equity Properties paid Interfin Bank its money fully. Al Shams should go to Interfin Bank to get its money and in the meantime release Equity Properties Title Deed and my stand. Al Shams cannot continue to hold Equity Properties’ Title Deed to the prejudice of over 300 stand purchasers,” Chidawanyika wrote.
He said the principle of natural justice and balance of convenience must be upheld, adding that one person “cannot unlawfully hold on to a Title Deed at the inconvenience of over 300 people”.
Chidawanyika said Al Shams’ application wants to stop other people from accessing the courts against the company, but it wants to access the courts against others.
“We are equal before the law. Al Shams cannot enjoy certain legal privileges such as the peregrinus law when it is exploiting and prejudicing hardworking citizens who are attempting to make an honest living in a very difficult environment,” he said imploring the courts.