Former state Vice President Joice Mujuru’s farm property has been saved from sale by the sheriff of the High Court.
The sale of various farming implements was supposed to take place on Friday June 16, 2023 at her Beatrice Ruzambu farm.
Proceeds of the sale were meant to go towards payment of Mujuru’s debt to a couple Sabrina and Tony Sarpo.
In March, the Supreme Court ordered the former VP and her company to settle a US$226,000 debt owed to the Sarpo couple since 2014.
In the latest development, the creditor’s lawyers wrote to the High Court sheriff Thursday notifying them that the auction would no longer proceed.
“Further to our previous communications and instructions for you to execute against the attached Property.
“We are instructed to instruct you to stay and hold the execution and the sale which was scheduled for tomorrow the 16th day of June 2023 at 11am, at Ruzambu Farm, Beatrice.
“We kindly request that you furnish us with your bill for your attendances so far.
“However, please note that the property still remains under judicial attachment, and we will give you further instructions,” wrote the lawyers.
Some of the equipment that was due for sale included seven tractors, bailer, mixer, reck-side cutter, industrial generators, planters, water pump, combine harvester, trailer, 210 water irrigation pipes, disk harrow, eight fuel tanks, outdoor refrigerator and cold room, cold room unit set and centre pivots.
Sabrina and Tonny sold farming machinery to Mujuru’s company in a sale sealed 25 July 2014.
Mujuru acted as surety.
Her company then defaulted in making payments prompting court action.
Peppy Motors issued summons against Mujuru and her company demanding US$226,000.
At the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed to settle the matter.
They then entered into a deed of settlement on 20 May 2019.
An order by consent denominated in United States dollars was issued on the same date as the deed of settlement 20 May 2019 for the payment of US$226,000.
Mujuru then made first payment on 5 July 2019 through a bank transfer of RTGS$76,000.
After four days, the appellants wrote a letter, through their legal practitioners, that the judgment debt had to be paid at the interbank rate.
Mujuru objected arguing that the obligation to pay the amount had arisen before the promulgation of SI 33 of 2019.
She also argued that payment was therefore supposed to be at the parity rate of 1:1.
However, the Sarpos ordered the Sheriff to execute the judgment.
On 18 September 2019, the Sheriff attached Mujuru’s first combine harvester.
On 16 October 2019, Mujuru and her company made a payment of ZW$140,000 directly into the Sheriffs account.
The Sarpos again wrote her that there was still an outstanding balance of RTGS$7,423,413.30.
But Mujuru argued that payment of ZWL$470,282.50 made covered the judgment debt in full.
On 11 February 2020, the Sheriff attached her three tractors.
Mujuru then approached the High Court seeking a stay of execution of the judgment in HC2954/18.
They sought as a final order a declarator that the total amount they paid had extinguished their indebtedness and the release of the property attached by the third respondent.
The application was duly granted prompting the Sarpos to appeal.
Source – ZimLive