Mashonaland Turf Club (MTC) has approached the court seeking to interdict The President’s Fund from terminating its lotto licence for allegedly failing to remit funds.
BY CHARLES LAITON
MTC filed the urgent chamber application on January 1 this year after The President’s Fund warned that all tickets purchased at any club’s outlet by 12 midnight on December 31, 2017 would be considered null and void.
According to court papers, MTC and The President’s Fund failed to agree on the terms of the termination of the contract and on November 10, 2017, MTC expressed its intention to terminate the agreement by notice, but its intention was countered by the fund.
“On December 28, 2017 applicant (MTC) referred the dispute to the arbitration centre and requested for the status quo to remain pending the finalisation of the arbitration proceedings, but on December 30, 2017 respondent (The President’s Fund) flighted a notification in a local paper that any lotto tickets sold by applicant after 12pm on December 31, 2017 would be null and void,” MTC finance executive, Lloyd Mugabe said in his founding affidavit.
The dispute between the two parties started mid last year when The President’s Fund, through its lawyers, Hussein Ranchhod and Company, wrote to MTC lawyers Dube, Manikai and Hwacha intimating that the fund had decided to terminate the parties’ agreement.
In a letter dated December 1, 2017 from The President’s Fund addressed to MTC, Hussein Ranchhod and Company said:
“. . . your client (MTC) has consistently defaulted on its remittance obligations, as evidenced from the attachments. This behaviour is not condoned. Your email also confirms your client’s belief that the contract that was signed in 1999 and shall persist until the return of the Messiah.
“That provision will never be upheld by the courts and on that basis and its continued breaches of the contract, your client was furnished with reasonable notice that its free carry on the back of our client will finally come to an end at the end of this year (December 31, 2017).
“Notwithstanding the above, the licence is granted to our client on an annual basis and your client is in effect purporting to hijack this licence for its own use without the consent of the issuing authority. A further need for termination is the fact that your client has clearly been unable to fulfil its obligations and by all indications is technically insolvent.”
Prior to The President’s Fund’s letter, MTC lawyers had written a letter denying any abuse of funds and insisting that the parties’ agreement must continue as per their original contract.
On November 30, 2017, Dube, Manikai and Hwacha had written saying: “Our client (MTC) has been remitting payments to your client. Our client receives payments for swipe transactions at the end of each month. Money realised from the sale of the tickets can only be remitted to your client after receipt of the money collected through swipe machines. Consequently, there has been a slight delay in remitting payments to your client before the end of the month. There is no conversion of the funds due to your client by ours as alleged.”
The application was, however, dismissed by High Court judge Justice Mary-Zimba Dube on Monday this week as “not urgent” and will, therefore, proceed as a normal court application.