BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THE High Court has dismissed an application filed by legislator Allan Markham against Aurgur Investments and President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the transfer of deed of settlement by the City of Harare.
A High Court application filed Markham, together with a company called Tavonga Savings Scheme and a Harare resident, Jacob Pikicha, on March 10, which challenges a deed of settlement between Augur Investments and Harare City Council, claimed that Mnangagwa’s name was used in the process of allocating the land, leading to the “corrupt” deal.
Justice David Mangota in a judgement today however ruled that the respondents had no authority to sue the respondents.
The judge said the applicants sued Mnangagwa in violation of rule 18 of the High Court.
The rule says no summons or other civil processes of the court may be issued out against the President or against any of the judges of the high court without the leave of the court granted on a court application being made for that purpose.
“The respondents succeed in all the three in limine matters which they raised. They showed that the application which sued the President of Zimbabwe without leave of the court is fatally defective and cannot therefore stand,” Maniota ruled.
Augur Investments, Tatiana Aleshina, Michael Van Blerk, City of Harare, Local Government minister July Moyo, Doorex Properties, Registrar of Deeds and President of Zimbabwe were cited as the first to ninth respondents.
“They showed further that the applicants lacked the locus standi to sue the respondents and that the suit which was brought against them was /is fraught with material disputes of fact which cannot be resolved on the papers. The application is therefore dismissed with costs,” Mangota added.
“I am satisfied that applicants who are total strangers to the respondents do not have the requisite locus to sue the latter. Their suit was/is akin to a leap into the dark, so to speak. It hanged on nothing. It was therefore completely devoid of merit.”
“They have no one but themselves to blame for the course which they adopted. A litigant is entitled to seek relief by way of notice of motion. The application is, therefore, dismissed with costs.”
The deed of settlement was signed on May 28, 2019 following the alleged intervention of Moyo, who according to court papers, claimed to have been sent by the President.
It was signed after protracted legal battles between Augur Investments owned by Ken Sharpe, government and Harare City Council (HCC) over land given to the Ukrainian company for its role in the construction of the Robert Mugabe International Airport Road.