By Hope Sarara
FORMER First Lady Grace Mugabe has been ordered to pay nearly $300 000 in legal fees owed to a local law firm that represented her in the botched diamond ring deal she had with a Lebanese businessman.
High Court Judge Jutice Edith Mushore early this month ruled that Grace and her son Russell Goreraza should pay Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners $278 304.
Grace was involved in a row with a Lebanese diamond dealer after she reported placed an order for a then US$1.4 million ring.
The contentious ring was never delivered but Grace also failed to pay the lawyers who represented her in the messy fight.
Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners then approached the courts for recourse.
On January 15, 2019 High Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta ruled in favour of the law firm and ordered Grace and her son to pay the legal fees.
The Former First Lady immediately filed an application for rescission arguing Justice Chitukuta had made an error in his ruling. The application was then thrown out by Justice Mushore.
“Application is dismissed with costs,” Mushore said in her order.
According to court papers, Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners acted for Grace in cases against a Lebanese national Jamal Ahmed in which she claimed to have been duped by the shadowy businessman.
In a bid to recover her money, Grace forcibly “grabbed” three properties namely No. 409 Harare Drive, Pomona; No. 18 Cambridge Road, Avondale and No. 75 King George, Avondale, all owned by Ahmed but the latter approached the courts and successfully retained his properties.
In another order earlier this year Justice Alpheus Chitakunye also ordered the duo to pay the law firm’s legal fees with costs as well.
It was argued by Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners, that Grace and her son approached them in December 2016 seeking legal services in respect of a number of cases linked to the diamond ring saga.
Grace and her son also wanted to be represented in an urgent chamber application that was before the High Court under case number HC 12497/16.
A breakdown of the legal fees showed that they were for attending to all litigation procedures and hearings, the drafting of court processes, consultations, round table meetings and various legal documents and the services were rendered for a period stretching to two years.