Chief Court Reporter
THE executor of Genius Kadungure’s estate has been stopped from administering the estate of the late socialite and businessman, pending finalisation of the dispute.
Popularly known as Ginimbi in social circles, Kadungure died in a horrific car accident last year.
The court ruling comes after the late Ginimbi’s sisters; Juliet and Nelia, and his father Anderson Kadungure, approached the High Court suing lawyer Ms Patricia Darangwa.
They wanted an order stopping any administration of an unsigned will presented by Ms Darangwa on November 25 pending a High Court review on why the Master of High Court appointed her as the executrix.
The family is challenging the legitimacy of the document. Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba granted the application by the Kadungure family, finding that Ms Darangwa jumped the gun in authorising the release of a Lamborghini in the absence of a proper liquidation and distribution account.
“In my view the applicants cannot be faulted for holding the view that irreparable harm may result from the conduct of first respondent,” she said. “Their apprehension in the face of the first respondent’s admitted conduct is valid.”
According to the Kadungure family, Ginimbi’s estate has liabilities.
The court also noted that Ginimbi’s estate spans across three countries, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, which have different laws and processes in relation to the administration of estates of deceased foreigners.
“That in itself may entail external conflict of laws,” said Justice Chirawu-Mugomba, tilting the balance of convenience in favour of the Kadungure family who are the beneficiaries.
The judge further ruled that even if the court found that on the return date that the disputed document should be taken as a will, the Kadungures’ rights should be protected.
The Kadungures outlined the basis upon which they believed the document was fake and should be nullified while Ms Darangwa explained the circumstances surrounding the preparation and presentation of the document.
But Justice Chirawu-Mugomba ruled that the acceptance of any document that did not meet the requirements was not “a walk in the park”.
“In my view there are prima facie red flags in the document itself, processes and manner leading to the acceptance of the document as a will . . . that may result in court sitting on review making a finding in favour of the applicants,” she said.
The Kadungures had reasonably arguable prima facie case on review, said the judge.
Justice Chirawu-Mugomba said the question on review should revolve around the circumstances leading to the writing of the document and whether or not a proper inquiry was conducted of the document itself.
She said the whole basis was to arrive at the truth and rule out fraud. The judge added that if the court find in favour of the Kadungures on the return date, then the estate would be wound up on the basis of intestate succession.
If not, the document would continue satisfying as Ginimbi’s, said the judge.
In their urgent application, Juliet said the family was entitled to protect its interests in Ginimbi’s estate and would not rest until the alleged irregularity was finalised.