Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter—
FORMER Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Senator Aguy Georgias, has died. He was 80. The Zanu-PF Central Committee member who was also former Economic Development Deputy Minister, died in the early hours of yesterday at AMI Hospital in Harare where he had been admitted. His daughter Tina confirmed the death yesterday and said the Trinity Engineering chairman and founder succumbed to kidney and heart failure.
“He has not been well and spent one and half months seeking medical attention in Capetown, South Africa before he returned to the country a week ago and he was now doing well. He died today at 2am at AMI Hospital in Avondale,” she said.
Sen Georgias was born on June 22 1935 in Chivhu, Mashonaland East. He is survived by wife Lizzy, 11 children and 16 grandchildren. Mourners are gathered at Number 14 Rocky Lodge, Browning Drive, Strathaven in Harare.
Burial arrangements are still to be announced. Sen Georgias, an astute businessman and consummate politician was a no nonsense man who always stood on the side of justice as exemplified by his groundbreaking challenges to the in duplum rule as well as launching a legal challenge against the West’s economic sanctions regime in British and EU courts.
In 2006, Senator Georgias fought for the enforcement of the in duplum rule, which now benefits everyone. The in duplum rule prohibits the charging of interest in excess of the capital amount.
Six years later Senator Georgias quest for justice saw him filing a lawsuit in the General Court in Luxembourg against the European Commission and the European Union Council on April 13, 2012 over the imposition of an illegal sanctions regime on his company, Trinity Engineering, and Zimbabwe.
He also fought against the deportation of senior Government officials’ children from the United Kingdom where they were studying. In November last year, Sen Georgias was set to appeal against the European Union General Court’s verdict rejecting his claim for damages from the EU Council and Commission arising from sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the EU.
Sen Georgias’ case was heard by the General Court sitting in Luxembourg earlier last year after he filed a claim for damages suffered as a result of his listing on the EU travel ban list. The court ruled in September last year that the EU council did “not act unlawfully in imposing restrictive measures” against Sen Georgias.
In 2002, the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe providing for the freezing of funds and prohibition of entry into or transit through the territory of the EU against members of the Zimbabwean Government. Sen Georgias was included on the travel ban list in 2007 following his appointment as Deputy Minister for Economic Development by President Mugabe.
A month after his appointment, Sen Georgias was denied entry into the UK in transit to New York and was detained overnight at Heathrow Airport before being flown back to Zimbabwe.
He immediately challenged that in the British High Court, which ruled against him twice, at the initial hearing and on appeal. The British High Court upheld that the action by British immigration officials was in conformity with the EU sanctions on Zimbabwe. It is then that Sen Georgias took his case to the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Following a protracted delay, the matter was only heard in April 2012 with the EU General Court’s verdict announced on September 18 dismissing Sen Georgias’ claim for damages. The Trinity Engineering boss, in his first public comment after the crushing ruling, in his typical never-say-die attitude, fiercely condemned both the British and European Justice system.