Embattled businessman Shingi Munyeza and his wife, Wilma, were spared jail by the High Court last Friday after a former neighbour they owe US$100,000 filed an application to have them committed to prison.
Business executive Marjorie Mutemererwa had told the court that Munyeza was in default of an earlier court ruling directing that he pays five equal installments of US$22,000 – including legal fees – by January 30, 2024.
Justice Samuel Deme of the Harare High Court dismissed the application, finding that Munyeza was complying with the payment order – although there was a dispute over the payment of October’s installment.
Mutemererwa said Munyeza, who paid his first installment in September, had only paid US$7,315 in October. Munyeza’s lawyer, however, argued that the remainder of US$14,685 was with the High Court Sheriff, proceeds of the sale of his vehicle which was seized.
Justice Deme accepted Munyeza’s explanation and ruled that he was not in default, and there was no reason to send the former pastor to jail.
The next installment of US$22,000 is due by November 30, 2023.
Mutemererwa, who was Munyeza’s neighbour in Borrowdale Brooke, sued the former cleric in March this year after he failed to pay back a US$100,000 loan. Munyeza and his wife borrowed the money on January 21 this year, promising to give Mutemererwa back the full sum by January 31 of the same month.
The couple, who are also indebted to a Zambian micro-finance lender which has seized their US$1 million house and movable properties, failed to return Mutemererwa’s money prompting her to file the court application.
Munyeza and his wife mounted a vigorous fight and even tried to convert their debt to Zimbabwe dollars but lost at the High Court.