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Biti sues Duly’s Motors over defective truck… seeks US$60k refund, $400k compensation

By Charles Laiton | NewsDay |

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti has taken Duly’s Motors (Pvt) Ltd, to the High Court demanding a US$60 000 refund and a $400 000 compensation after the company allegedly sold him a defective Ford Ranger.

Former Zimbabwean Finance Minister and MDC Alliance member Tendai Biti greets supporters outside the MDC Alliance's headquarters in Harare on July 31 (CREDIT: MARCO LONGARI/AFP)
Former Zimbabwean Finance Minister and MDC Alliance member Tendai Biti greets supporters outside the MDC Alliance’s headquarters in Harare on July 31 (Picture by MARCO LONGARI/AFP)

Biti, who is also MDC vice-president and Harare East MP, recently filed summons against Duly’s Motors saying all his efforts to seek redress from the firm have failed to yield any positive results.

In his declaration Biti said he bought a Ford Ranger Limited Edition from the firm sometime in February 2013 and there was an express term of the agreement between the parties that the vehicle, being brand new, would be free of latent defects and fit for use on any public roads.

“At the time of the sale and unbeknown to the plaintiff (Biti), the motor vehicle suffered from the following defects; the challenge of overheating with the temperature gauge not reflecting the details and challenges in the gearbox, resulting in the vehicle stalling and not moving,” Biti said in his declaration.

“On various occasions between 2015 and 2016, the vehicle had engine seizures arising from overheating, resulting in the defendant (Duly’s Motors), replacing on two occasions and supplying new motor vehicle engines.”

Biti further said despite the company replacing the engines, the vehicle continued developing the same challenge of overheating with the result that in 2017, the company ended up replacing the vehicle with a totally new one, but the problem persisted.

“Despite the replacement of the vehicle and despite the fact that the new vehicle has clocked less than 80 000km, the same continues to suffer from the same latent defects of overheating with the temperature gauge not reflecting the changes in temperatures in the engine,” he said.

Biti said his new Ford Ranger vehicle has broken down on more than four occasions while the firm has failed to permanently rectify the problem.

“The defects on the vehicle are of such a nature that the vehicle can no longer be used on a public road. Had plaintiff known of the defects, he would not have purchased the vehicle at all….over the years the vehicle constantly broke down while the plaintiff was driving the same, in faraway places like Murewa, Mutare, Harare central business district, sometimes in the middle of the night, thereby causing plaintiff humiliation, pain, shock and suffering mental and physical abuse and injuria,” Biti said in his claim for US$60 000 and $400 000 respectively.

The matter is pending.