High Court Judge Justice Never Katiyo has struck off the roll the civil imprisonment inquiry of Harare land developer George Katsimberis because the papers filed by controversial businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe and his company Pokugara Ecofriendly (the Applicants) were not in order.
The applicants failed to produce what is called a nulla bona which is a report a sheriff writes when he finds no property to attach.
What happened at Court on 2 November 2022 is that the Applicants could not produce a nulla bona return. Instead, they had a return of service showing an attempt: namely, that upon hearing that George Katsimberis was staying at a hotel, they tried to go and attach property there.
What is obvious is that they deliberately tried to attach property at a hotel in order that they would get a nulla bona return, and apply for civil imprisonment. Not because George Katsimberis cannot pay the debt, but simply as a stratagem to abuse the Courts and embarrass George Katsimberis. There was drama when the Sheriff showed up in Court, to serve the second summons on George Katsimberis.
Katsimberis’ lawyer Advocate Tinomudaishe Chinyoka pointed out to the Judge, there was no possibility of the case taking off as it simply did not have the right documents.
The judge, Mr Justice Katiyo, agreed, pointing out that civil imprisonment was a very serious step that involved a person’s liberty and not one as would be allowed without proper papers.
Sharpe’s lawyer indicated that he had not brought the nulla bona return as he did not think it was needed! Given that the document is the justification for the summons that seemed a touch untrue. The matter was rightly struck off the roll because the papers were not in order and inadequate.