Zimbabwe: First Capital Bank escapes million-dollar lawsuit

FIRST Capital Bank Limited has escaped a US$1 million lawsuit after the High Court dismissed a claim by a local travel agent, Sharai Chimimba, who was arrested after the bank unlawfully withheld funds intended to the plane tickets of its customers.

The bank caused Chimimba’s arrest after withholding approximately US$20,000 that was intended for customers’ airline tickets, leading to his arrest and detention.

Chimimba is a director of a visa processing and airline ticketing company, Participatory Approaches Consultancy Services (Private) Limited, specializing in prospective employees in the Middle East and Canada.

She had sued the bank for attacking her personality and reputation during her wrongful arrest in 2018.

Chimimba said the bank unilaterally converted the company’s foreign account, which had a balance of $19,130, to a domestic Nostro FCA account, with an opening balance of $1,050.

This resulted in the company failing to meet its financial obligations to pay for visas and airline tickets for its customers.

As a result, she was reported to the police by frustrated customers.

Chimimba said she was humiliated and called a fraudster.

The bank filed an objection in early January this year, arguing that the summons and declaration did not comply with certain provisions of the High Court rules, adding that it had sued the wrong defendant.

The High Court Judge, Judge Jacob Manzunzu, upheld the bank’s plea for relief.

The judge, however, descended on the financial institution for betraying the utmost good faith entrusted to them by withholding Chimimba’s money.

“In the written heads, Plaintiff’s (Chimimba) argument is that the Defendant must bear all the consequences arising from his unlawful action of withholding funds, which led the various individuals to bring about the Plaintiff’s arrest. The Plaintiff has moved his argument from an action iniuriarum to a person for wrongful arrest. The argument is moved. In any event, the conduct of the accused must have caused, both in law and in fact, the harm to which compensation is sought,” reads the judgment.

“In the premise, it was argued, an exception cannot be made if the issue can be resolved by evidence or other details. Either way, evidence cannot begin to negotiate in a new area which has not been pleaded The fact that evidence will be adduced does not exempt the claimant from the obligation to set out the facts in the declaration, which, if proven, will allow the claimant to obtain judgment. In casu, there is no legal causal link. the defendant.

“Having found no merit in the cause of action exception, I do not find it necessary to address the question of whether or not the remedy sought is competent.

While I agree that the plaintiff’s claim is outrageous because it bears no relation to compensation awarded in comparable cases, the court cannot take an informal approach to the kind of frustration that arises from the defendant’s conduct in withholding the money it holds in trust. I find no basis to penalize the plaintiff on the costs”, ruled the judge.