Firms stampede for judicial management to evade debts: Judge

HIGH Court judge Justice Martin Makonese has expressed concern over the increasing number of firms applying for judicial management and provisional liquidation, saying most of them were doing so to evade paying debts.

Stephen Chadenga

Justice Makonese made the remarks at the official opening of the Gweru Magistrates’ Court’s 2016 Legal Year on Monday.

“There has been a steady increase in the number of applications we receive at the High Court for judicial management and provisional liquidation,” he said.

“The concern that I have is that to some extent there is an abuse of court processes in that the majority of these applications are filed for the purposes of evading payment of amounts due and owing to creditors.”

Makonese warned lawyers against frustrating the execution of judgments by filing applications for judicial management.

“Most applications for judicial management are filed and never pursued to the end once creditors have been frustrated and left to cling to writs of execution which they cannot enforce,” he said.

Last year, the High Court placed Gweru-based gold miner, Aquarium Trading, under provisional judicial management, in a bid to save the company from dissolution after the company’s major shareholder, Tamira Overseas (SA). Tamira applied for provisional liquidation at the Bulawayo High Court.

The company had been initially placed under provisional liquidation in September 2014 after it failed to settle a $2,5 million debt.

Other city firms under judicial management include Zimglass and ZimAlloys.

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