‘CIO broke’, sues aircraft company to recover debt

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By Ebenezzer Sibanda

AN aircraft company in Zimbabwe has failed to pay the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), forcing President Enmerson Mnangagwa’s aides to approach the courts for relief.

Central Air Transport Services (CATS) has allegedly failed to pay US$40 827.59 and $6 000 for aircrafts it hired from the President’s Office.

CATS is an air charter company which reportedly entered into a hiring contract with Intelligence Minister Owen Mudha Ncube cited as 1st Plaintff. The District Development Fund is cited in court papers as 2nd Plaintiff.

Both plaintiffs are under Mnangagwa’s supervision.

According to the summons, in January 2019, CATS signed a contract with both plaintiffs.

The agreement was that the defendant would be using the aircrafts for commercial purposes. It was charged US$40 827.59.

“On or about late December 2018 or early January 2019, Owen Ncube and the District Development Fund (plaintiffs) and CATS entered into a contract of hire through which the plaintiffs provided their Falcon Aircraft to the defendant for its commercial use at agreed hiring fees of US$40 824.59 and $6 000 which amounts accrued on defendant’s accounts,” reads part of the summons

CATS was expected to have paid the sum on or before June 20, 2019.

On July 16, 2019, CATS requested for a payment plan in a bid to settle the debt but still failed.

“Despite plaintiff’s several demands for payment and their being magnanimous with defendant who freely acknowledged its indebtedness to plaintiffs of US$40 287.59, CATS has failed to pay the aforesaid amounts and has put plaintiff unnecessarily out of pocket because of this conduct,” reads part of the summons.