The Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) Manicaland Diocese has been taken to court by a local law firm seeking to recover its legal fees.
The law firm, Nyamwanza and Associates Practitioners, filed a $7 975 claim at the High Court against CPCA led by Bishop Chad Gandiya which it cited as respondents under case number HC1887/12.
Gandiya’s church, however, has since dismissed the law firm’s claim arguing it could have paid the fees if the demanded amount had been presented to authorities for taxation purposes.
The Anglican Church is alleged to have failed to pay the legal fees for which the law firm rendered legal representations defending the church members in various matters.
In its response to the claim, CPCA argued that the lawyers ought to have raised a fee note in respect of its attendances and present the same for taxation before demanding payment.
“The plaintiff has used a wrong procedure altogether, plaintiff is supposed to have that matter set down and taxed by a taxing officer. That is what the rules of the court say. No such taxation was done, defendants, therefore, dispute the amount claimed,” CPCA said.
According to the court papers, sometime in 2009, several CPCA members were dragged to court on various cases prompting the church to approach the law firm seeking legal representation.
A lawyer, identified in court papers only as Ms Nyamwanza, is said to
have been retained by the Anglican Church as one of its legal counsel in Mutare.
“She was on several occasions briefed by defendant’s officials to attend to their matters. She raised a statement of accounts and presented them for payment. Defendant paid part of their fees due, but failed to pay the balance,” the lawyers said.
The matter is at the pre-trial stage and is yet to be finalised.
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