NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to compel the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to pay $710 696 in rental arrears and another order to evict the parastatal from its premises over breach of a lease agreement.
BY CHARLES LAITON
According to summons filed at the High Court on September 4, 2018, the premises in issue are the Grain Marketing Board Railway Reserve Depot, Nandi and the GMB depot in Rutenga, Masvingo.
“Plaintiff (NRZ) cancelled the lease agreement on the basis of defendant’s breach. Defendant’s (GMB) right to occupy the property, therefore, terminated on March 7, 2018 but despite repeated demands defendant has failed to vacate the property,” NRZ said in its declaration.
“For varying periods of time, plaintiff and the defendant entered into two lease agreements in terms of which plaintiff leased to defendant land commonly known as Grain Marketing Board Depot Railway Reserve, Nandi and land commonly known as Grain Marketing Board Rutenga.”
NRZ said in terms of the lease agreements when the GMB took occupation of the Nandi and Rutenga properties, it promised to pay rentals on the first day of each month.
“In breach of the lease agreements, defendant failed to pay the agreed rentals, resulting in it accruing arrears of $710 696.11 as at February 27, 2018. It was a term of the lease agreement that the plaintiff shall be paid interest at the rate of 1% per month from due date on rent which defendant fails to pay on due date.”
NRZ also said according to the lease agreement, in the event of non-payment and the firm having been forced to institute legal proceedings, GMB would be expected to pay all the expenses incurred by the plaintiff.
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“It was a further term of the lease agreement that in the event of non-payment of rent or any portion thereof on due date and plaintiff having been forced to institute legal proceedings for the recovery of arrear rentals, defendant shall pay all legal and other costs and expenses incurred by the plaintiff,” NRZ said.
“Wherefore, plaintiff prays against the defendant for an order confirming the cancellation of the lease agreement between the parties, an order ejecting the defendant and all those claiming through it from Grain Marketing Board Depot Railway Reserve, Nandi, payment of the sum of $710 696,11 being arrear rentals due holding over damages at the rate of $876,65 per month from the date of demand to the date of ejectment in respect of Grain Marketing Board Depot Railway Reserve, Nandi and payment of cost of suit on an attorney and client scale.”
GMB is yet to respond to the litigation.