Mliswa loses bid to save property from hammer
EFFORTS by former Hurungwe legislator, Temba Mliswa, to stop CBZ Bank from attaching and auctioning of his property over a US$2,7 million loan advanced to his firm failed after the High Court threw out his urgent court application saying it was baseless.
The commercial bank lent Mliswa’s Saltlakes Holdings money to buy tobacco from farmers in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and the embattled former ZANU-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman bound himself as surety and co-principal debtor.
After the tobacco merchant firm failed to repay the overdraft, CBZ sued the former Warriors’ fitness trainer and his company resulting in the High Court ordering the seizure of Mliswa’s assets and those of Saltlakes Holdings.
Pursuant to this order, the Deputy Sherriff last month pounced on Mliswa’s Spring Farm in Karoi where property which included household furniture, gym equipment, generators, hammer mills, ploughs, cultivators, irrigation pipes, trailers, roam discs, compressors was attached.
Also seized were vehicles including a Nissan Patrol, Mazda T35 truck and tractors along with 180 head of cattle.
This prompted Mliswa to file an urgent court application to stay the execution of the order to satisfy this judgment debt, which has since ballooned to over US$3,5 million because of costs and interest.
High Court Judge, Justice Priscilla Chigumba outrightly dismissed Mliswa’s appeal. “The probabilities are balanced in favour of the 1st respondent (CBZ Bank). There is insufficient cause to justify the indulgence of stay of execution. Applicants have failed to discharge the onus on them to show that special circumstances exist,” said Justice Chigumba.
“In the result, and for the reasons stated above, the urgent chamber application to stop execution and to bar the respondents from proceeding with removal and execution of applicants’ property in terms of the default judgment in HC8835/14 be and is hereby dismissed…”
Mliswa is also embroiled in a legal row with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) over a US$12,5 million loan advanced to him in 2008 for the same purpose of allowing Saltlakes — a tobacco merchant firm — to purchase green leaf tobacco after it failed to secure off-show credit lines.
While acknowledging part of the debt — which he accepted in hard currency — Mliswa is, however, adamant that he can only repay in the now defunct Zimbabwean dollar (Z$).
“We owe the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as well as CBZ substantial amounts. I am not sure about the CBZ debt but I am sure we owe the RBZ about US$5,8 million,” Mliswa said to journalists last year.
“We did not get US$12,5 million and in the agreement there is a clause with regards the RBZ loan that we can pay it back in Zimbabwe dollars and that is what we are going to do. We will invoke that clause and pay them the money,” Mliswa said.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that no payments can be made in Zimbabwe dollars.