By Daniel Nemukuyu
TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi and his wife Barbara have been ordered by the High Court to pay US$129 221 to the People’s Own Savings Bank in settlement of a loan extended to their company two years ago.
The bank extended a loan of US$100 000 to Rob Cobban Investments, which trades as Ebano Creations and the couple bound itself as surety and co-principal debtors in writing. Justice Ben Hlatshwayo on Monday granted a default judgment against the company and the couple which did not file opposing papers to the summons issued last year.
“The first, second and third defendants (Rob Cobban Investments, Minister Mzembi and Mrs Barbara Mercedes Mzembi) shall jointly and severally, the one paying the others to be absolved, pay the plaintiff the sum of US$129 221,10,” said Justice Hlatshwayo.
“The defendants shall pay interest on the sum of US$95 593,70 at the rate of 30 percent per annum calculated from October 14, 2011 to the date of payment in full.
“An undivided 3,09 percent share being share number BS23 in a certain piece of land situated in the district of Salisbury township called Stand Number 16876 Salisbury registered in the name of first defendant under Deed of Transfer Number 7560/1989 be and is hereby declared especially executable.
“First, second and third defendants shall pay costs of suit on a legal practitioner and client scale.”
According to summons issued by Mawere and Sibanda law firm on behalf of POSB on November 7 last year, Rob Cobban represented by the couple, entered a written loan agreement with the bank on April 15, 2010 in which US$100 000 was released to the company. The deal was sealed in Victoria Falls.
The loan was to finance working capital requirements. It was to be repaid over a period of six months in installments. An interest rate of 20 percent per annum was agreed upon for the loan and other charges payable. It was also agreed that the first payment would be made on May 15, 2010 being US$17 652 and the rest would be spread over six months until October 15, 2010.
The couple in writing bound themselves as surety and co-principal debtors with Rob Cobban Investments. It was the bank’s argument that the couple and the company have failed to repay the total amount owed by October 15, 2010.
The summons was served on Mr and Mrs Mzembi on November 18 last year and they did not enter an appearance to defend. That prompted the bank to apply for default judgment against the couple and the firm. The Herald