The Supreme Court ordered Joice Mujuru, former Vice President, and Ruzirun Investments, to pay US$226 000 to Peppy Motors, a company that procures farming equipment, Sabrina Sarpo and Tony Sarpo.
The outstanding debt that has been owed since 2015 has caused parties to be at odds.
After a long legal battle, Mujuru received an order from the High Court to pay the debt. However, she failed to do so and her property was taken.
After she successfully appealed against that High Court decision, Tony and Sabrina were able to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Court papers show that the Sarpos received a loan from Steward Bank in 2012 and used it to purchase various farm machinery.
The equipment was sold to Mujuru’s business and an agreement of sale was made on July 25, 2015.
Mujuru did not honor the agreement. The couple was summoned under HC2954/18 to pay any outstanding amounts or interest.
After the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 33, on May 25, 2019, parties had entered into a deed to settle their differences.
Mujuru believed that the debt could be paid in RTGS dollar, even though it was in US$.
On June 5, 2019, ZW$76000 was paid in its first payment.
Mujuru asked for payment at the interbank rate four days later.
Additionally, the company argued that payments should be made at the current interbank rate.
They appealed to the court, claiming that it erred in law and grossly misdirected its decision to find that the Deed of Settlement between the parties on May 20, 2019 and the consent order granted on May 20, 2018 were within the scope of S.I. 33 of 2019, despite the consent order and deed of settlement having been granted and entered after the effective date S.I. 33 of 2019.
The Supreme Court upheld Peppy Motors arguments, ruling that the High Court had erred by allowing Mujuru RTGS payments at a rate one as one.
“The court aquo therefore made an error when it held that consent orders did not create new liabilities, but only imposed existing liabilities on the respondents.
“The respondents were required to pay off their debts by converting the United States Dollar judgment to RTGs dollars at prevailing interbank rates.
The respondents did not pay their debt to the appellants by making a payment at the one-to-1 rate. It was a partial payment, with the remainder due and payable.
The Supreme Court ruled that the appeal had merit and should be granted.
Mujuru’s company was also hit with additional costs.