The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Sunday News Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS living in the Diaspora continue raising the country’s flag high by performing marvellously in their various fields of expertise.
In Namibia, former Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maphios Cheda recently made a couple of landmark rulings at the High Court of Namibia which has seen him make it into a number of law journals. In his first ruling that was delivered on 23 July, it was a dispute between Faida Trading and Clearing Enterprises and banking giants, Nedbank.
According to court papers an employee from Faida Trading and Clearing Enterprises had approached the bank with the intention of making a money transfer to a US company, Amazing Grace. However, in the process the employee had to cancel the transfer after realising he had the wrong banking details. He later came back with the correct details but the Nedbank cashier transferred the money to the wrong account.
In the suit, which had been dragging on since 2013, Faida Trading and Clearing Enterprises was asking the court to order the bank to pay back the US$39 300 wrongly transferred from the company account, plus interest. In his judgment Justice Cheda ultimately ordered the bank to pay up, with interest and legal costs.
“I find that the parties had a contractual relationship and defendant breached the contract of safeguarding plaintiff’s funds. At the same time defendant’s employee was negligent. In light of her experience, she was aware of the prevalence of cyber crimes in the banking sector. For that reason, she should have taken adequate steps to protect plaintiff’s funds. She was therefore negligent in the circumstances and consequently liability attaches to defendant,” reads part of the judgment.
In his second high profile judgment, Justice Cheda heard the case where six councillors were challenging their dismissal by King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas of the Ondonga Kingdom. Despite pressure from the King’s legal team and the Ondonga Kingdom, Justice Cheda granted an order compelling King Elifas to give oral testimony in the matter in which the councillors were challenging their dismissal. The king’s legal team had unsuccessfully argued that the application to have the king testify was an attempt to test his mental capabilities in an open court.
“First respondent by virtue of being a king should not generally be brought to court on frivolous grounds, but, only where his subjects whom he is supposed to rule in harmony are at each other’s throats and have failed to resolve their own internal disputes. This scenario reminds me of Mosquisde Custine, the French writer and traveller who said ‘this Empire, vast as it is, is only a prison to which the emperor holds the key’. Indeed 1st respondent holds the key to this log-jam.
The king’s appearance and his oral evidence will no doubt help to clear the first rung of this dispute,” reads part of the judgment.
The dismissed councillors were former traditional authority chairperson Peter Kauluma, former secretary Joseph Asino, senior headman for the Ondangwa district John Walenga, Kamanya, Kashona kaMalulu, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili.
Although they were still gazetted, the king had replaced the dismissed councillors with new councillors.