Harare City Council Challenges US$468 855 Debt, Wants To Pay Using Zim$

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE Harare City Council has launched a desperate bid to avoid paying a US$468 855 debt it owes a private company, Furbank Trading, preferring to instead settle the amount in local currency.

This comes after an award of US$468 855, was handed down last December in favour of Furbank Trading.

However, the local authority has approached the High Court seeking an order for the award to be set aside arguing that it was in contravention of Statutory Instrument (S.I) 33 of 2019 that states that the US dollar is at par with local RTGS currency.

Harare City Council’s Town Clerk Hosiah Chisango, deposed an affidavit on behalf of the municipality arguing that the trading company submitted a claim to arbitration which it contested on the basis that it was contrary to the public policy of Zimbabwe.

“Applicant is aggrieved by the findings and conclusions of the arbitrator. I am averting that the instant award offends public policy,” wrote Chisango.

“In the award, he made the payment of RTGS equivalent sum of US$468 855 at the prevailing interbank exchange rate. Such an award was in violation of Statutory instrument 33 of 2019, Statutory Instrument of 124 of 2019 and Finance Act,” he said.

Chisango further argued the amount was higher than what the two parties agreed to which, is contrary to the notions of justice.

The case is yet to be set down for hearing.

Meanwhile, the bail hearing for fraud accused socialite and businessman Genius Kadungure was postponed Thursday to this Friday at the High Court.

Kadungure, popularly known as Ginimbi, is being accused of undervaluing his recently imported Bentley Continental in a bid to pay less duty.

He was, however, arrested after he had reached a settlement with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) before a High Court Judge last month to pay the full duty. 

The accused was denied bail by Deputy Chief Magistrate Chrispen Mberewere on grounds that he allegedly committed the offence while on remand for a similar crime.