Zesa, minister tussle over US$400k debt

Fungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo has denied owing the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (Private) Limited over US$400 000 in unpaid electricity bills.

The matter is set for pre-trial conference tomorrow before Justice Dube at the High Court in Harare.

In his defendant’s plea, Minister Moyo denies owing plaintiff US$414 775,79.

“Defendant specifically avers that the customer information printout does not correctly reflect the electricity consumed by defendant. Defendant denies utilising the electricity reflected in Annexure A. Plaintiff is accordingly put to the strict proof of the fact that they consumed the said electricity,” read the plea.

“Alternatively, defendant avers that plaintiff’s claim has prescribed. The alleged claim being for a debt or liquidated demand is now prescribed. More specifically, the claims from 11 February 2013 to 11 May 2017 are all prescribed.

“Defendant further avers that the figures inserted in Annexure A are fictitious, as evidenced by the claim of US$155 414,27 which appears on invoice number 356572323 dated July 23, 2014 and the claim for US$11 566,33 which appears on invoice number 536872434 dated November 14, 2017.”

In the plaintiff’s replication, ZETDC vows to prove that it is owed the amount it is claiming.

The utility insists that the debt was acknowledged and periodic payments were made.

“The contract of supply of power is current and ongoing, plaintiff continues to supply whilst defendant continues to receive power, on the other hand,” said the papers.

ZETDC is claiming payment of the sum of US$414775,79 owed by the defendant to the plaintiff as at 6th May, 2019 being charges in respect of power/electricity supplied by the plaintiff to the defendant at the latter’s special request and instance in terms of the running electricity supply contract between the two, and which amount the defendant fails, neglects or refuses to pay despite demand.

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