Minister in ‘soup’ over $24k debt
By Tendai Kamhungira
HARARE – Suncrest Chickens — Zimbabwe’s largest marketers of frozen, dressed chickens and their by-products — has begun legal proceedings against Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, in unprecedented move to secure repayment after unsuccessful debt talks.
Suncrest Chickens has instituted legal action after walking away from negotiations over the minister’s $24 000 debt pile.
Given the complexities of the case, the High Court filing threatens to extend debt talks well into the future, having dragged on since Mombeshora previously missed interest payments on the facility.
Suncrest is demanding a five percent interest calculated from the date the summons were issued to the date of the final payment.
According to court summons filed by Suncrest’s lawyers Muvingi and Mugadza Legal Practitioners, the two parties entered into a grower agreement in which the minister would rear and supply chickens to Suncrest.
“The defendant (Mombeshora) was duly supplied with chicks’ food and chemicals for the birds and was supposed to grow the birds to an average weight of 1,8kg at or in less than 42 days,” the court heard.
Suncrest told the court that Mombeshora failed to supply the required amount of chickens to offset the supplied goods. It said $24 027 is outstanding.
“The failure to settle the outstanding amount has led to the institution of the present proceedings and the defendant should pay the legal costs incurred,” Suncrest’s summons say.
“Payment of costs on a legal practitioner and client scale together with 10 percent collection commission.”
Suncrest said it was forced to take action after several concessions offered to the minister failed to secure a solution.
High Court judge Nicholas Mathonsi has referred the matter for trial after the holding of a pre-trial conference. Daily News