Bu­l­awayo High Court judges de­liver con­flict­ing judg­ments

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

TWO Bu­l­awayo High Court judges last week de­liv­ered con­flict­ing judg­ments on a sim­i­lar mat­ter in­volv­ing an Egyp­tian wo­man locked in a series of le­gal bat­tles with a city lawyer and a cu­ra­tor over un­paid le­gal and cu­ra­tor fees of nearly $200 000.

Ms Gamila Atwa Ibrahim Youssef El Zont, who is an ex­ecu­tor for the es­tate of the late prom­i­nent Bu­l­awayo der­ma­tol­o­gist, Dr John Manolakakis, is be­ing sued by Ms Manala Love­ness Motsi and Ad­vo­cate Hilda Moyo for al­legedly re­fus­ing to pay cu­ra­tor fees and le­gal tax­a­tion costs.

The con­tra­dic­tory rul­ings by Jus­tice Martin Makonese and Jus­tice Lawrence Kamocha fol­low two sep­a­rate ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tions filed by Ms Motsi and Adv Moyo.

The two ap­pli­cants both sought an or­der strip­ping Gamila Atwa Ibrahim Youssef El Zont of her sta­tus.

Jus­tice Makonese dis­missed Ms Motsi’s ap­pli­ca­tion for an or­der to sus­pend Ms Youssef El Zont from be­ing the ex­ecu­tor of Dr Manolakakis’s es­tate and in­ter­dict­ing her from con­duct­ing any deal­ings re­lated to the es­tate.

The dispute be­tween Ms Motsi and Ms Youssef El Zont is over pay­ment of $ 65 000 in cu­ra­tor’s fees.

Ms Motsi was ap­pointed cu­ra­tor bo­nis in the es­tate of the late doc­tor on Novem­ber 12, 2014 in terms of the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Es­tates Act. Ms Youssef El Zont was sub­se­quently ap­pointed ex­ecu­tor by the Mas­ter of the High Court two months ago.

“The is­sue I raised with the ap­pli­cant’s (Ms Motsi) coun­sel is why an or­der is be­ing sought for first re­spon­dent (Ms Youssef El Zont) to be re­moved as ex­ecutrix da­tive when es­sen­tially the dispute is over pay­ment of the cu­ra­tor’s fees, which are in the sum of $65 044,25,” said Jus­tice Makonese.

Ms Youssef El Zont ar­gued that the cu­ra­tor’s fees were too high and likely to de­prive the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of any fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit.

In dis­miss­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion, Jus­tice Makonese said the ap­pli­ca­tion was an at­tempt by Ms Motsi to pre­vent the wind­ing up of the es­tate.

“In my view, the Mas­ter of the High Court ought to have the cu­ra­tor’s fees prop­erly taxed and that is the rem­edy the ap­pli­cant is en­ti­tled to. The mat­ter does not de­serve to be treated on an ur­gent ba­sis as this dispute over the cu­ra­tor fees has been on­go­ing since May 2016, and ac­cord­ingly the ap­pli­ca­tion be and is hereby dis­missed,” ruled the judge.

On the other hand, Jus­tice Kamocha in­ter­dicted Ms Youssef El Zont, the Mas­ter of the High Court and the Regis­trar of Deeds from con­tin­u­ing with the ad­min­is­tra­tion, wind­ing up and dis­tri­bu­tion of the es­tate pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the mat­ter.

He also blocked the re­spon­dents from selling, ced­ing or trans­fer­ring both mov­able and im­mov­able as­sets of the es­tate.

The prop­er­ties in­clude a piece of land in Bu­l­awayo mea­sur­ing 694 square me­tres and two stands at As­cot.

Adv Moyo and Ms Youssef El Zont are locked in le­gal wran­gle over un­paid le­gal costs. Adv Moyo is de­mand­ing $120 000 in taxed le­gal costs in­curred in mat­ters be­tween the late Ms Maris Manolakakis, who was mother to the late doc­tor ver­sus es­tate John Manolakakis and five oth­ers un­der case num­ber HC2226/08 and Mr Robert Mal­com McGilivray Bowes and oth­ers ver­sus Maria Manolakakis un­der case num­ber SC356/14.

Dr Manolakakis, who was Greek and based in Egypt, ar­rived in Zim­babwe in the late 1980s and set up med­i­cal prac­tice in Bu­l­awayo un­til his death.

At the time of his death, he stayed with a girl­friend, Ms Evan­gelia Pa­tri­nos.

Soon af­ter his death, a will dated June 3, 2005, was found at his house. Ac­cord­ing to the will pur­port­edly signed by the late doc­tor, it was al­leged that he be­queathed his en­tire es­tate in Zim­babwe, Greece and South Africa to Ms Pa­tri­nos.

Ms Pa­tri­nos was sub­se­quently ap­pointed ex­ecutrix tes­ta­men­tary in the es­tate of Dr Manolakakis. She how­ever, later died on Novem­ber 11, 2008 in Greece which sub­se­quently cul­mi­nated in a series of le­gal bat­tles over Dr Manolakakis’ es­tate. — @mash­nets

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