By Tendai Kamhungira
The Bindura Municipality (Bindura) has been dragged to the High Court for failing to pay a $116 000 Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) debt.
ZETDC is a subsidiary of the State power utility Zesa Holdings.
“The defendant (Bindura) is indebted/liable to the plaintiff as at April 30, 2016, in the sum of $116 104, 66 being charges in respect of power/electricity supplied by the plaintiff (ZETDC) to the defendant at the latter’s special request and instance…
“By reason of the said failure, neglect or refusal to pay the…sum/amount, the defendant is obliged to pay the same with interest,” the court heard.
The municipality, however, made a counter claim against the power company, claiming it is owed $140 764, 65 instead. It admitted owing the power company but said the indebtedness was set off through services offered to ZETDC. The municipality claimed ZETDC owns Megawatt House and other properties in Bindura, and is supposed to pay monthly rates and service charges but has not been, with arrears amounting to $140 764, 65 since July last year.
“The defendant is entitled to claim in reconvention the sum of $24 659, 99 which it does in reconvention,” the municipality said, further demanding the dismissal of ZETDC’s application with costs. However, the power company said it owes the municipality $43 022, 33 only, thereby reducing their claim to $73 082,33.
“Although all the properties mentioned in the defendant’s claim in reconvention belong to the plaintiff (except Megawatt House), the defendant is obliged to show how the sum of $140 764, 65 was arrived at. Megawatt belongs to Zesa Pension Fund and not the plaintiff, and the plaintiff is therefore not liable to pay any charges under Megawatt House.
“These allegations are denied and the defendant is put to strict proof thereof,” ZETDC argued, asking that the municipality’s claim be dismissed.
The power company is also demanding interest at the prescribed rate calculated from May 1, 2016 to the date of full payment. The matter is still pending and was brought for a pre-trial conference before High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi on Tuesday. Daily News