Mnangagwa seeks court reprieve

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Tarisai Machakaire
STAFF WRITER
machakairet@dailynews.co.zw

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has sought the court’s mercy after delaying to file his heads of argument in a case he was sued by Free Zimbabwe Congress leader Joseph Busha over introduction of the RTGS dollar.

Mnangagwa is seeking condonation for late filing of the heads of argument and extension of time.
The RTGS dollar was introduced in February last year through the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act.

Busha argues that Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019, which was used to introduce the currency was inconsistent with the Constitution.

He also wants the court to give an order invalidating any reference or actions based on the RTGS currency.

“The heads of argument were delayed by a month but that was because there had been no proper service on the applicant (Mnangagwa). The heads of argument were filed on January 13, 2020. It is worth highlighting that longer periods of five years have been condoned by the courts,” said Veneranda Munyoro, a law officer who deposed an affidavit on behalf of Mnangagwa.

“It is the applicant’s submission that the delay was not wilful as the heads of argument were not properly served on the applicant.

“I only became aware that heads of argument had been filed and served on the applicant on December 9, 2019 and filed on January 13.”

In the main application, Busha stated as a bank account holder in the country, the decision by the government affected him directly and personally.

“On 22 February, 2019 and through a Government Gazette Extraordinary Volume XCV11 number 14, first respondent published or caused to be published, the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act and issue of Real Time Gross Settlement electronic dollars (RTGS$)) regulations, 2019 being Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 (the regulations).

“Through the regulations, our dear first respondent purports to amend Section 44 of the Reserve Bank Act (Chapter 22:15) through addition of a new Section 44C, the effect of which is to allow and authorise third respondent to issue ‘electronic currency’,” he said.

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