The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has been ordered by the High Court to settle a $12 500 debt owed to a local firm, Jepnik Investments (Pvt) Ltd, for goods delivered and services rendered during the International Carnival hosted in Harare three years ago.
BY CHARLES LAITON
High Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera on Wednesday granted Jepnik Investments an order in terms of the draft, after the firm applied for summary judgment, arguing ZTA was deliberately refusing to settle the debt despite acknowledging owing the claimed amount.
“The respondent (ZTA) to pay the applicant (Jepnik Investments (Pvt) (Ltd) the sum of $12 500 plus interest at 5% per annum reckoned from June 30, 2014 to date of full payment and respondent to pay cost of suit,” part of the draft order read.
The lawsuit against ZTA was filed by Jepnik Investments’ managing director, Fombe Makwenje, after realising the tourism body was reluctant to pay for the supplied goods and services rendered in May 2014.
Makwenje said his firm supplied the ZTA with traffic cones, safety fence, road closed signs, steel road barricades, warning flags, queue posts and a labour traffic control team with full safety gear per person.
“The respondent (ZTA) made payments between July 1, 2014 and October 1, 2015 totalling $18 336. The respondent did not pay anything from October 2015, prompting applicant to seek the services of the lawyers, Machinga and Partners, to recover the debt,” Makwenje said.
“On July 4, 2016, the applicant’s legal practitioners wrote a letter of demand to the respondent. The respondent replied acknowledging its indebtedness and proposing a payment plan to liquidate the debt in four months. The applicant accepted the proposal in writing, but the respondent paid only $1 000 towards the debt on 16 August 2016.”
According to Makwenje, when summons were issued against ZTA, the latter entered an appearance to defend despite acknowledging its indebtedness to the firm.
“The respondent entered an appearance to defend, but I believe it has no defence to the applicant’s claim as it has already acknowledged its indebtedness and proposed a payment plan which it partly performed. In the circumstances, I pray that summary judgment be granted to the applicant for the sum claimed in the summons,” Makwenje said.