Hwange Colliery in court over $11m debt

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The country’s major coal producer Hwange Colliery Company has been dragged to the High Court by different companies for allegedly failing to settle debts amounting to over $11 million.

BY CHARLES LAITON

According to the court papers under case number HC5136/14, Hwange Colliery is alleged to have entered into an agreement with Hwange Coal Gasification Company for the supply of warf coke.

It is alleged between January and December 2009, the gasification company delivered 392 286 tonnes of warf coke valued at
$1 014 293,51 to Hwange Colliery, but the latter did not pay for it.

According to the parties’ agreement, it was agreed that interest would be charged at 15% per annum from February 2010 to date of full settlement where the gasification firm continued to deliver warf coke on various dates until August 2010.

However, in the summons dated January 23 2014, both parties were said to have been engaging each other continuously with a view to resolving the issue of payment amicably but Hwange Colliery is alleged to have made several verbal undertakings to make good its end of the bargain to no avail.

“Despite lawful demand, defendant refuses ignores and/or neglects to pay wherefore, plaintiff prays for judgment for: Payment of $10 701 629,85 being the actual cost of the warf coke supplied and delivered by plaintiff to defendant,” Hwange Coal Gasification lawyers Venturas and Samukange legal practitioners said.

In another matter under case number HC6134/14, Hwange Colliery and Petrotrade entered into a credit/sale agreement in that Petrotrade would sell, supply and deliver fuel on credit to Hwange Colliery.

It is alleged, it was agreed Hwange Colliery would pay for the fuel within 14 days of delivery and in the event of its failure to pay for the fuel products in full on or before the deadline, interest would accrue on the amount outstanding at 18% per annum.

However, in compliance with the credit/sale agreement and during the period between December 2013 and February 2014, Petrotrade allegedly sold, supplied and delivered diesel valued at $224 699,90, but Hwange Colliery failed to own up to the agreement prompting summons to be issued by Petrotrade’s lawyers Dzimba and Jaravaza Associates.

In a related matter under case number HC8912/14, Hwange Colliery and Sakunda Petroleum entered into a fuel agreement where Sakunda delivered fuel to the coal firm on credit and as at September 24 last year, Hwange Colliery’s debt had ballooned to $429 251,8.

It is alleged the coal miner failed to pay prompting Sakunda’s lawyers Mapondera & Company to file the current lawsuit.
All the above-mentioned court cases are still pending at the High Court.