Debt woes mount for former minister Chapfika

Woes continue to mount for ex- deputy Finance minister and Zanu PF Mutoko South MP David Chapfika after he was dragged before the High Court for failing to pay $300 000 for electricity consumed at his farm.

David Chapfika
David Chapfika

According to the application filed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (Private) Limited (ZETDC), the various amounts owed are in respect of Chapfika’s garden project and for different points at his Grove Farm.

The court was told that ZETDC’s sales manager Maxwell Kudinha will give evidence to the effect that the two parties entered into an agreement for the politician to be supplied with electricity.

“It was agreed that the defendant (Chapfika) would pay for the electricity supplied by the plaintiff and in the event of his failure to do so: the plaintiff (ZETDC) would be entitled to disconnect electricity supply, and/or take legal action against the defendant claiming the amount due.

“In breach of the said contract, the defendant, had not been paying for electricity consumed and as at September 21, 2016, he was owing the plaintiff a sum of $307 622, 37…,” the court heard.

The power company said that Chapfika has failed, neglected or refused to pay the money despite demand and having admitted his indebtedness on November 2, 2016.

According to court papers, he had agreed to make monthly payments of $17 090, 13, but nothing was paid, which culminated in the court application.

“Due to the nonpayment, the plaintiff, as it was entitled to do, disconnected the supply of electricity to the defendant and instituted this action claiming payment of the said sum of $307 622, 37 together with interest and legal costs. In the premises, judgment should be entered against the defendant in favour of the plaintiff as per summons and plaintiff’s declaration,” the power company said.

Chapfika, however, disputed the amount being claimed by the power company.

“Notwithstanding that I disputed the bills relating to my different accounts with the applicant I signed the acknowledgment on the basis that the applicant was going to continue supplying electricity to enable me to conduct my farming operations and pay the applicant in terms of the acknowledgment of debt and that the applicant will hold onto the summons.

“Barely less than 24 hours later, the applicant immediately issued summons and disconnected electricity in total disregard of the new agreement as captured in the acknowledgment of debt,” Chapfika said.

He said in the acknowledgment of debt, he never accepted that he owed $307 622, 37.

“If this application is granted, I will be forced to pay an exorbitant amount than what is actually due to the applicant also bearing in mind the breach by the applicant and this will not be in the interest of justice,” the court heard.

The power company later filed an application for summary judgment, as it sought a verdict without going to trial, which was, however, dismissed by the High Court.

The matter is yet to be heard on merits before the High Court. Daily News