Air Zim property attached

HARARE - Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Air Zimbabwe) is set to lose 29 cars, which were attached to recover a debt owed to one of the airline’s former employees.

This comes after the Supreme Court dismissed the airline’s appeal yesterday.

Air Zimbabwe had filed a Supreme Court appeal against an arbitrary award that was registered with the High Court, seeking the attachment and sell off of its cars and other property by the deputy sheriff.

The national airline was embroiled in a legal dispute with one of its former employees Stephen Nhuta, who claimed that the national airline owed him money.

According to court papers, Nhuta won an arbitral award for outstanding salary and benefits in October 2010. The court heard that no appeal was lodged against the decision of the arbitrator and the award was registered with the High Court in September 2012.

The court heard that a writ of execution was issued in October of the same year, leading to the attachment of the airline’s motor vehicles, which were found at Harare International Airport.

Air Zimbabwe claimed that the attachment of its property to satisfy a debt owed to the respondent was in violation of the law. It further said that it was immune to attachment of its property as the attachment was to result in the paralysis of its business operations.

Air Zimbabwe told the court that some of the property that was attached belonged to Air Zimbabwe Holdings.

“Clearly then, the learned judge’s finding that Air Zimbabwe Holdings is not the successor company referred to in Section 9A of the Repeal Act is unassailable,” the airline argued. “It follows, therefore, that the property of Air Zimbabwe Holdings is not protected from execution by the statutory provision.

“As to the ownership of property attached, it was alleged by the appellants that, that property belonged to Air Zimbabwe and not to Air Zimbabwe Holdings.”

It said Air Zimbabwe had laid claim to 20 out of the 29 motor vehicles and that registration books for the cars had been provided to the court.

“It is trite that registration books are not proof of ownership. The appeal, for the reasons set above, lacks merit and is hereby dismissed with costs,” judges Paddington Garwe and Bharat Patel said.

 

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