Businessman faces jail over $4,7m debt

Prominent businessman Munner Kamruddin Kazi faces jail after his former business partner Thamer Said Al Shanfari approached the High Court, seeking his civil imprisonment over a $4,7 million debt.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Through his lawyers, Samukange Hungwe Legal Practitioners, Shanfari obtained a writ of execution against Kazi’s property, but failed to execute it after it emerged the latter had no properties in his name. This forced Shanfari to apply for civil imprisonment against his partner if he fails to settle his debt.

According to the court papers, Kazi was ordered to pay Shanfari the money owed to him in terms of a judgment issued sometime in October 2015.

Shanfari’s lawyer, Everson Samkange, refused to shed more light on the matter, but said after giving the Sheriff of the High Court instructions to serve the summons on November 30, 2018, the process was only carried out on December 8, 2018.

“We have now served Kazi with summons and the matter is expected to be heard on December 19, 2018,” he said.

But, according to correspondences seen by NewsDay, the lawyers went back and forth in an attempt to have the summons served, prompting them to write two letters to the sheriff, with a view to establish what had been holding up the process despite all the fees having been paid.

“Defendant (Kazi) has on numerous occasions boasted to our client that he is untouchable and has political connections in the government system,” the lawyers said in a letter addressed to the Sheriff dated December 3, 2018.

After failing to receive any feedback, on December 7, the lawyers again wrote another letter, in which they highlighted that their client was facing resistance to serve the summons due to alleged political intimidation and interference.

“This letter serves to enquire from your esteemed office whether the sheriff’s office is logistically-incapacitated to serve summons for civil imprisonment or that there are other reasons that cannot be shared with our client,” the lawyers said.

Although Shanfari’s lawyers have managed to attach a few properties believed to belong to Kazi, the businessperson has since filed an interpleader application, claiming the items that were attached belonged to his wife.

According to an inventory gleaned by NewsDay, among other properties that were attached include chairs, fridges, a washing machine, a coffee maker, a microwave and cars.

According to the court papers, Shanfari obtained the $4 750 000 judgment, together with interest and collection commission, in his favour in 2015 after Kazi, in August 2012, acknowledged in writing that he owned his partner $3 750 000.

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