An international firm, Holbud Limited, which is into importing and distribution of food grains, has approached the High Court seeking to register an arbitral award of $871 730 entered against the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) over the former’s damaged maize three years ago.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The application was filed by Holbud’s chief executive officer, Hasnain Merali, who is represented by Venturas and Samukange Legal Practitioners, and is set to be heard today.
“This is an application for registration of an arbitral award made on May 26, 2015, in favour of the applicant (Holbud Limited) by the retired Justice Moses Chinhengo. The award stated as follows: The respondent (GMB) shall pay to the claimant the sum of $871 730, 32 plus interest thereon at the prescribed rate calculated from September 2012 to date of full payment.
“The claimant (Holbud) shall pay to the respondent (GMB) the sum of $3 440 086,45 plus interest at the prescribed rate calculated from the date of this award to date of full payment,” Holbud’s lawyers said.
Merali said his firm’s claim against GMB was initially $933 035,55 but after deliberations by Justice Chinhengo, it was reduced to $871 730,32.
However, Merali further said although there was an arbitral award entered in GMB’s favour, it was not his firm’s responsibility to pursue the claim on its behalf.
“I must submit that it is not the applicant’s responsibility to pursue the respondent’s claim. The applicant will have no problem in setting off the amount awarded to the respondent. However, the respondent has not made any effort to pursue its part of the claim,” he said.
In response to Holbud’s application, GMB’s corporate secretary, Rodin Myzece urged the court to dismiss it, adding there was no reason for an arbitrator to dismiss GMB’s argument.
“. . . that, in the event of a finding that respondent is liable for damage to the maize, the applicant contributed to the damage since its maize was placed under embargo. In the result, the arbitrator ought to have apportioned the damages accordingly,” he said.
“The respondent will be filing an application for the setting aside of the award in that respect . . . In the premises, the application for the registration of the award is premature and ought to be dismissed with costs.”