Harare, May 26, 2015 – Zimbabwe’s former Prime Minister and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai is currently locked in a legal battle with a
local financial institution over a $60 000 loan.
AfrAsia Bank recently issued summons against Tsvangirai demanding
payment amounting to $51 206 from the former Premier which the
financial institution claimed he had defaulted on repaying two years
AfrAsia Bank, through its lawyers Sawyer and Mkushi Legal
Practitioners, claimed that it entered into an agreement with the
MDC-T leader in September 2013 in terms of which it extended an
overdraft finance facility amounting to $60 000.
The agreement, AfrAsia Bank said, was to terminate in October 2013 by
which date all amounts due and outstanding under the agreement would
have been paid.
However, Tsvangirai allegedly failed, refused and neglected to pay
AfrAsia Bank a total of $51 206 being capital and interest charges of
$850 although the bank acknowledged that the MDC-T leader repaid $24
A copy of the loan agreement seen by Radio VOP shows that Tsvangirai
borrowed the funds to finance staff salaries and incidentals and
offered title deeds to his Strathaven suburb’s property as security to
guarantee the loan.
But Tsvangirai’s lawyer Douglas Mwonzora of Mwonzora and Associates
Legal Practitioners is disputing the amount that AfrAsia Bank claims
their client owes the financial institution.
In his defendant’s plea, Mwonzora admitted that the MDC-T leader had
secured a loan from the bank but denied the amounts that AfrAsia
claims he owes.
“In addition to the sums mentioned herein the defendant subsequently
paid a further sum of $20 000. Therefore, the balance outstanding and
the resultant interest is wrong,” reads part of Tsvangirai’s defence
Mwonzora argued that AfrAsia Bank’s claim should be dismissed as
AfrAsia Bank voluntarily surrendered its banking licence to the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in February paving way for the bank’s
liquidation. This came after negotiations to rescue the bank with an
international investor fell through at the last minute.
Apart from Tsvangirai, several Zimbabweans are being hauled before the
courts for defaulting on loan repayments as the southern African
country chokes under an agonising economic crisis that most critics
blame on President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF’s government’s
failure to fix the 15-year old economic calamity.
On Tuesday, the ruling ZANU PF party was forced to deny an article
published by a local daily newspaper claiming that Mugabe owed former
ZANU PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson and entrepreneur Ray
Kaukonde $30 million which he allegedly borrowed to finance his
private business ventures.