Ice Skating Company Claims US$4,9 million Compensation From Old Mutual

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By Mandipa Masenyama

A HARARE-based ice skating company, Fun On Ice, has dragged Investments, Savings, Insurance and Property giant Old Mutual Investment Corporation to the High Court claiming US$4 900 000 for a breach of contract.

This came after Old Mutual dragged the to the same court for failure to pay rental arrears and operating costs last year in terms of the lease agreement signed by both parties.

As at October 2021, the company, according to Old Mutual’s lawsuit, had accrued rental arrears of ZW$89 945,50 and an operating cost of ZW$1 375 173,94 before failing to commit the debt at the agreed dates on their lease agreement having the interest rate of operating costs tagged at 15% per annum.

Fun On Ice’s lawyer Tamuka Muzondo, indicated in the lawsuit that Old Mutual was the one that owed the company as it had failed to meet its contractual obligations.

“In terms of the agreements between the parties, Fun On Ice was given rent payment holidays, which holidays were reduced to writing. As such no rentals were due or payable,” Muzondo wrote in court papers seen by Friday.

“However, in respect of operating costs for security, the plaintiff failed to provide the accused with reasonable security as the latter’s property worth US$2 000 was stolen from the former’s premises. The accused cannot be ordered to pay for a service which the plaintiff failed to provide. Instead, the accused must be compensated for that loss,” Muzondo said.

Muzondo highlighted how Old Mutual failed to provide basic needs and services which they said they would provide, including a good functional generator.

He argued that this resulted in the company suffering great losses culminating in its unexpected closure.

He also indicated it would be unjust for Fun On Ice to pay rentals for the period they were not operating since Old Mutual was to blame for that failure.

The US$3 400 000 being demanded was for loss of income suffered by the company, US$98 000 being an amount for refund incurred by the Fun On Ice for renovating costs.

For the loss of income arising from breach of contract the damages, the company is demanding US$1 400 000 from Old Mutual and US$2 000 which is supposed to be the replacement for stolen property, bringing the total to US$4 900 000.

“Despite demand dated 11 November 2021, the plaintiff has neglected and or refused to pay the monies due and owing the defendant,” Muzondo argued.