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Guramatunhu sued over $48k debt

By Tendai Kamhungira

Eye specialist Solomon Guramatunhu has been dragged to the High Court after two of his companies allegedly failed to pay $48 000 for products secured from M Wiseman & Company (Zimbabwe) Limited in 2001.

Eye surgeon Dr Solomon Guramatunhu
Eye surgeon Dr Solomon Guramatunhu

According to court papers, M Wiseman & Company (Zimbabwe) Limited is the applicant, while Guramatunhu’s companies, Specs and Lenses (Private) Limited (Specs and Lenses) and Optinova (Private) Limited (Optinova) are the respondents.

“Plaintiff (M Wiseman & Company (Zimbabwe) Limited), a company in a business of buying and selling optical products, and first defendant (Specs and Lenses) entered into an agreement of sale in terms of which defendant was to purchase optical products on credit. The agreement between the parties was signed on the 12th of January 2001 with … Guramatunhu signing on behalf of the defendant.

“In terms of the agreement, payment of all accounts was supposed to be made by the 25th of the month following the date of issuing of a statement by plaintiff,” the court heard.

According to court papers, pursuant to the agreement, Specs and Lenses made several purchases. During the period between January 2014 and December of the same year, Specs and Lenses made further purchases on the same terms and conditions.

“In breach of the agreement between parties, defendant failed to pay for the purchases upon being issued with statements. Defendants have been making erratic payments of $5 000 and the outstanding amount as of this date is $48 797, 00,” the court was told.

M Wiseman & Company (Zimbabwe) Limited through its lawyer Wellington Magaya told the court that Optinova later acknowledged its indebtedness in writing on July 7, 2015.

“The acknowledgment was made using defendant’s trade name Optinova and was again signed by … Guramatunhu who promised to make payments towards settlement of the debt.

“Despite acknowledging its indebtedness defendant has failed to settle the debt. Plaintiff therefore seeks an order for the payment of the full amount outstanding together with costs of suit on a legal practitioner and client scale,” the court heard.

However, defending the claim, Optinova denied being part of the agreement of sale in 2001, claiming by then it had not been formed.

“Consequently, second defendant denies that it owes or owed the plaintiff the sum of $158 797 (total purchase price of the products) as alleged or at all. Second defendant denies entering into any dealings with the plaintiff as alleged or at all. First defendant puts the plaintiff to the strictest proof of the averments herein.

“It is denied that plaintiff demanded payment from defendants, rather plaintiff demanded payment from the first defendant only,” the court heard.

Specs and Lenses further denied ever acknowledging indebtedness.

“Instead, the second defendant caused a letter to be sent to plaintiff, the letter was authored by second defendant which is a separate and distinct entity from the first defendant. In the letter, the second defendant purported to bind the first defendant, when in fact it had no authority or basis to do so,” the court was told.

The defendants further said Specs and Lenses had settled the matter with M Wiseman & Company (Zimbabwe) Limited), where the parties agreed that $5 000 would be paid every month.

“First defendant avers that it has been making payment as agreed by the parties, hence plaintiff is not entitled to full payment as claimed in the summons or at all.
The claim has been drastically reduced and litigation ought to be suspended,” the court was told.

A pre-trial conference is now to be conducted in the matter on a date yet to be known. DailyNews