MDC MP loses vehicle loan scheme case

Clemence Manyukwe


MDC Gweru urban legislator Timothy Mukahlela has lost a court application to compel the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to give him foreign currency to acquire a motor vehicle under the parliamentary vehicle loan scheme.

In a High Court ju

dgement released on Monday, Justice Bharat Patel dismissed on technicalities Mukahlela’s case in which he wanted the RBZ to release R243 396 for him to purchase a Pajero vehicle for use in his parliamentary duties.

Mukahlela had alleged in his application that there was favouritism in the administration of the vehicle loan scheme that saw him failing to benefit since 2001.

The judge said instead of making the clerk of parliament, Austin Zvoma, the Ministry of Finance, the RBZ and Amalgamated Motor Corporation, parties to the application, the MP should have cited the Members of Parliament Vehicle Revolving Fund.

“It is very clear from the foregoing that the fund is an independent and distinct entity with its own legal persona and the capacity to sue or be sued in its own name.
 
It is equally clear that the fund, through its board, disburses the moneys,” the judge said.

The judge said although the MP was demanding to be awarded foreign currency, there was nothing in his papers before the court “to justify a claim sounding in rands or in any other foreign currency”.

Justice Patel said although there were disputes of fact between submission by Mukahlela and Zvoma on the circumstances that led to the claimant failing to benefit from the loan scheme,
 
“it is undisputed that the applicant was the only MP who did not benefit from the scheme at the relevant time”.

Beside, Justice Patel said, Mukahlela’s application filed in court last year was instituted out of time.

On Wednesday Mukahlela’s lawyer Tichaona Mawere said his client had since appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgement.