Blow for Grace Mugabe in US$600K case
FORMER first lady Grace Mugabe has suffered a huge blow after the Supreme Court ordered the reopening of a case in which an ex-Gushungo Holdings employee is demanding US$588 000 for unpaid labour.
The Supreme Court bench made up of Paddington Garwe, Susan Mavangira and Lavendar Makoni upheld former Gushungo Holdings manager Stanely Nhari’s appeal against a High Court decision which had dismissed his case, saying they had no jurisdiction because it was a labour dispute.
“Accordingly, it is ordered as follows, the appeal succeeds in part with each partypaying its costs. The profile of the judgment of the court a quo upholding the plea in bar in respect of the claim for damages in the sum of US$588 000 and dismissing the entire claim with costs on the ordinary scale is set aside with each party paying its
“The remaining part of the judgment of the court a quo upholding the plea in bar in respect of the claim of US$8 909,14, US$69 292,69, US$90 000 is upheld.
“The claim of US$588 000 delictual damages is remitted to the court a quo to be handled in terms of the rules of the
court,” read the judgment.
Nhari’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu had argued that Mugabe’s actions bordered on violations of constitutional rights.
He said forced labour was not allowed in terms of the law.
“It’s a form of slavery,” Mpofu said. Nhari filed a Supreme Court appeal after losing the case to the late former
president Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and their company Gushungo Holdings (Private) Limited at the High Court.
The High Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter before dismissing it, claiming the matter must
instead be dealt with by the Labour Court.
However, making submissions on Nhari’s behalf, Mpofu said the High Court had misdirected itself by dismissing the
“Once there is no jurisdiction, the court has no claim to dismiss, it simply declines jurisdiction,” he said.