High Court orders Bhasikiti to pay Biti legal fees

Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (centre) with Biti (far right) at the High Court

HARARE – Prominent lawyer Tendai Biti has won a ZW$15,000 legal fees claim against former Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.

Bhasikiti had reneged to fulfil a legal fee agreement signed between him and Biti over four years ago.

In 2015 and 2016, Biti represented Bhasikiti at the High Court, Supreme Court and Constitutional Court and the politician unsuccessfully challenged his expulsion from Zanu PF.

The lawyer, who is also the MDC vice president, later presented an invoice to Bhasikiti for services the rendered but the former legislator failed to pay.

“Pursuant to this, the plaintiff (Tendai Biti) and the defendant (Kudakwashe Bhasikiti) agreed on a fee of US$12,000 excluding posts, petties and VAT,” Biti said in his declaration.

“On December 13, 2016, the plaintiff levied a fee note to the defendant… despite demand and despite numerous promises defendant has failed and neglected to pay the outstanding amount,” court papers said.

This prompted Biti to approach the High Court in order to recover his money.

Justice Benjamin Chikowero heard the case on June 7, 2019 and ruled in favour of Biti and slapped Bhasikiti with an order to pay including costs of suit.

“After reading documents filed of record it is ordered that: the defendant (Bhasikiti) shall pay to the plaintiff (Biti) the sum of ZW$15,180; the defendant shall pay interest on the above amount at the rate of 5 percent from the date of judgment to the date of full and final payment plus costs of suit,” the judge ordered.