Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president and businessman, Phillip Chiyangwa, whose property is set to go under the hammer over a $4 million debt owed to the now-defunct Interfin Bank has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court, seeking to stop the sheriff from selling his property, pending an application for rescission of judgment.
In his application filed on Monday, Chiyangwa urged the court to consider his matter as urgent, adding the sheriff had already attached his property and was on the verge of disposing it following a writ obtained by Interfin Bank.
“I have already set out herein above developments that have already taken place, which makes applicant apprehend injury, namely that the sheriff has already attached and seized the property of the applicant acting on a writ of execution issued by the respondent,” he said.
According to Chiyangwa, when a default judgment was granted by Justice Lavender Makoni, he was not in default as such, but had fallen ill and had been rushed to hospital, an assertion dismissed by the bank’s lawyer.
“In its application for default judgment, the respondent (Interfin Bank) stated that the applicant (Chiyangwa) was in wilful default. It is clear that the applicant was in ill health and cannot reasonably have been expected to be in attendance,” Chiyangwa said.
“The application for rescission, which has very brilliant prospects of success, has already been filed and applicant seeks stay of execution pending the determination of that insurmountable application.”
However, the bank, through its lawyer Antony Chagonda, urged the court to dismiss the application.
Interfin argued the businessman was aware of the hearing date in November this year, but chose to advise his lawyer, one Gavin Gomwe, that he [Chiyangwa] was too busy attending to issues of raising the bank’s money.
The Zifa boss, however, maintained he was not in wilful default, but was bedridden at Trauma Centre Hospital in Borrowdale and could not defend himself when the default judgment was entered.
“The applicant has filed all the relevant pleadings and was not in wilful default when the default judgment was granted, thus is entitled to have the default judgment rescinded on the basis that it was erroneously granted,” he said.
“There can be no question, therefore, that the applicant has excellent prospects of success in the application for rescission and thus stay of execution ought to be granted.
“It is also clear in my view that there can be no other avenue open for a remedy. It is only the order of this court that will grant protection otherwise there will be chaos and applicant will suffer irreparable prejudice.”
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.