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RioZim sued over R15m debt

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A South African company has taken RioZim to court seeking to force the firm to settle a R15 million debt it accrued after purchasing mining equipment last year.

Report by Charles Laiton

Boltgas Industrial Mining, claims sometime last year RioZim purchased mining equipment and it was delivered to Empress Nickel Refinery and Renco Mine respectively.

In the summons filed at the High Court under case number HC12946/12, Boltgas Industrial Mining claimed that initially RioZim bought goods valued at R16 434 413, 31 and paid only R744 137, 38 leaving an outstanding balance of R15 690 275,93.

According to Boltgas Industrial Mining, on March 16 last year RioZim signed an acknowledgement of debt at a meeting held at its offices in Harare.

RioZim is alleged to have acknowledged on March 19 last year that it owed Boltgas the claimed amount, but in its opposing papers filed at the High Court, the mining firm denied owing such a huge amount of money.

But Boltgas further claimed that RioZim agreed in the signed acknowledgement of debt that it would settle the whole amount by November 1 last year, an assertion dismissed by RioZim.

“Defendant admits that a meeting was held at its offices in Harare on March 16 last year and further admits signing an acknowledgement of debt on March 19,” RioZim said.

“Defendant however, denies that the due date for the settlement of the debt was November 1 last year as alleged by Plaintiff. Defendant admits paying the sum of R744 137, 38, but however, denies owing the outstanding balance of R15 690 275, 93.”

RioZim further argued that no consensus as to when the debt would be paid was ever reached.

The matter has been set for a pre-trial conference on March 14 this year before High Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta.

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