SC 28-14 - GUMBO v PORTICULLIS (PVT) LTD

SITWELL GUMBO

v

PORTICULLIS PRIVATE LIMITED T/A FINANCIAL CLEARING BUREAU

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

HARARE, DECEMBER 9, 2013

Before: GWAUNZA JA, in chambers in terms of r 5 of the Supreme Court Rules.

 

This is an application filed in terms of r 31(2) of the Supreme Court Rules.  On the 9 of December 2013, and upon reading documents filed of record, I dismissed the application with no order as to costs. No opposing papers were filed by the respondent.  The applicant has requested that I furnish him with reasons for the judgment, and these are provided herein.

The applicant filed an application in the High Court, on a certificate of urgency.  The court a quo, on 26 June, 2013 issued the following decision;

“There is no urgency in this matter warranting this matter to be allowed to jump the queue.  The applicant has had all the time in the world to take the initiative to clear his name.  I decline to treat this matter as urgent.”  

Upon a request from the applicant, the court a quo provided written reasons for the decision not to hear the matter on an urgent basis.  The court a quo in this respect relied on the case of Kuvarega vs Registrar-General and Anor (1998 (1) ZLR 188(H)) at 193 F-G in which the following principle was set out.

“What constitutes urgency is not only the imminent arrival of the day of reckoning, a matter is urgent if at the time the need to act arises, the matter cannot wait.  Urgency which stems from a deliberate or careless abstention from action until the deadline draws near is not the type of urgency contemplated by the rules.”

The learned Judge’s assessment of the evidence before him indicated that the genesis of the applicant’s problems with the respondent dated back to 2003, spilled over to 2007 and then to 2009 and thereafter.  The Judge found that the applicant had been fully aware of the conduct of the respondent towards him and that he had always had the opportunity to take the initiative to clear his name.  He had chosen not to do so and had only rushed to court on an urgent basis on 24 June 2013.  The court concluded that the applicant’s conduct in this respect was not what the whole concept of urgent applications contemplated.

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