REDAN ENERGY PETROLEUM (PRIVATE) LIMITED
SAKUNDA PETROLEUM (PRIVATE) LIMITED
JEFT MARKETING (PRIVATE) LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 24 May 2018
Ms S. Dhlakama, for the 1st & 2nd applicants
P. Matsanura, for the respondent
ZHOU J: This is an application for the registration of an arbitral award rendered in terms of the Arbitration Act. The application is opposed by the respondent on the basis that the award was granted contrary to the public policy of Zimbabwe.
It is common cause that an application instituted by the respondent to have the arbitral award set aside on grounds of being contrary to the public policy of Zimbabwe was dismissed by this court. It has not been shown why this court should revisit that conclusion which was based on the facts upon which the opposition in casu is predicated. Mr Matsanura for the respondent submitted that the respondent is opposing the issue of costs on the attorney-client scale which are being sought in the present matter.
Costs on the attorney-client scale are a punitive measure of costs by which the court expresses its displeasure at mis-conduct on the part of a litigant. Looking at the grounds of opposition, it is clear that the opposition is so groundless as to amount to an unacceptable abuse of court. All the allegations such as that the award was rendered in the absence of terms of reference for the arbitrator, that the rules of natural justice were violated, and that the arbitrator was biased, are not based on any evidence. They are just allegations made in a casual manner in the opposing affidavit. Also, once the application for the setting aside of the arbitral award was dismissed there was really no reason for this matter to be contested in this manner. The respondent could have notified the applicant or the court that it consents to the registration of the award and seek discussion on the question of costs. It did not do that. In fact, even in