High Court orders minister to settle $300k electricity debt

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court judge, Mary Zimba Dube has ordered Local Government Minister, July Moyo, to pay over $300 000 electricity debt owed to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

The electricity was supplied at his Mavesere Farm in Kwekwe.

The company approached the courts after Moyo refused to pay the debt despite demand.

Dube issued the order against the top government official on October 15, 2019 after the parties signed a deed of settlement.

“The defendant (Moyo) shall pay the sum of $306 793 to the plaintiff (ZETDC) together with interest thereon at the prescribed rate of interest calculated from May 13, 2019 to date of payment, both dates inclusive.

“The amount shall be paid in terms of deed of settlement made and entered by and between the parties. The defendant shall pay the plaintiff’s cost of suit,” Justice Dube said.

Through its lawyers Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners, the power utility petitioned the High Court claiming payment of the outstanding amount after efforts to compel him to pay had hit a snag.

According to the court papers, Moyo refused to settle the debts for his electricity account being number 2346569 prompting the power utility to approach the court for recourse.

“The defendant (Moyo) is indebted/liable to the plaintiff (ZETDC) as at May 6, 2019 in the sum of US$306 793 being charges in respect of power/electricity supplied by the plaintiff to the defendant at the latter’s special request and instance in terms of the running electricity supply contract between the two, for account number 2346569,” the power utility said in its declaration.

ZETDC further said despite several letters of demand seeking Moyo’s attention to attend to the debt, the minister had reneged to fulfil his contractual obligation by turning a deaf ear on the power utility’s demand.

“The defendant has failed, neglected or refused to pay the above sum/amount despite demand. By reason of the said failure, neglect or refusal to pay the above sum/amount, the defendant is obliged to pay the same with interest thereon at the prescribed rate which is currently 5% per annum,” ZETDC said following which Moyo relented and agreed to settle the debt.