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Lobels dragged to court

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Cash-strapped bread maker Lobels has been hauled to court over a $57 000 debt it owes to Venture Petroleum.

Venture Petroleum in the summons filed at the High Court is demanding payment of fuel it allegedly supplied to Lobels.

“The defendant (Lobels Bread) is truly and legally indebted to the plaintiff (Venture Petroleum) in the sum of $57 000 in respect of petrol supplied to the defendant at its specific instance and request,” reads part of the plaintiff’s declaration.

“On the 19th May 2011 defendant acknowledged indebtedness to the plaintiff in the above mentioned sum.”

In their court papers, Venture Petroleum said although they had an agreement with Lobels Bread that they would settle their debt by May 19, the accused had failed to do so.

“The defendant agreed to pay interest on the outstanding at the rate 2,5% per month from due date to date of payment in full.

The defendant also agreed to pay costs on attorney and client scale. The defendant has failed and/or neglected to effect payment of the said sum despite demand, wherefore plaintiff prays as against the defendant judgment in the sum of $57 000, interest thereon at 2,5% per month from due date to date of payment, costs of suit on an attorney and client scale,” argued Venture Petroleum.

Lobels recently closed its Harare bakery to embark on a restructuring exercise and look for new equity partners to revive its operations.

Production is expected to resume in early July.
This is not the first time Lobels has been forced to close shop due to viability problems.

Last year bread production stopped after top management was dismissed on allegations of fraud and misappropriation of company funds to the tune of around $10 million.

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