FIRST Mutual Holdings (FMH) Limited has petitioned the High Court seeking liquidation of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed Meikles Limited after the latter allegedly failed to settle a five-year old debt of $416 156.
BY CHARLES LAITON
FMH filed the court application sometime in May last year and the matter is set to be heard by High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi tomorrow.
“… on the ground of being unable to pay its debts, the applicant (FMH) hereby applies for a winding-up order against respondent (Meikles Limited). The applicant also applies on the ground that it would be just and equitable, taking into account how long the debt has remained unpaid and the respondent’s consistent failure to honour its undertakings,” FMH group secretary Sheila Frances Lorimer said in her founding affidavit.
Lorimer said Meikles Limited owes her company $337 620,35 which amount, as at June 6, 2016 had accrued $78 536,38 interest.
“The amount owing to the applicant by the respondent has its origins in 2014. Prior to that date the respondent had borrowed funds from a bank known as Trust Bank, which is now in liquidation, and in order to provide security for the loan had signed certain bankers acceptances, which were negotiable instruments being negotiable bills of exchange,” Lorimer said.
She further said at a subsequent date, the said Trust Bank became indebted to FMH and delivered the same bankers acceptances to it as security.
“The respondent claims that it paid those bank acceptances, but they were still current bank acceptances, freely negotiable, when they were negotiated to the applicant,” she said.
“The applicant subsequently demanded payment from the respondent, of the said bills of exchange, as the holder of the bills of exchange.
“When the respondent, failed to pay it applied for judgment against the respondent, based on those bank acceptances and, as the holder of those negotiable instruments.
“Despite the fact that the respondent had no defence, since the applicant was a holder in due course, it defended the action brought by the applicant to recover on those bills of exchange.”
Lorimer also said when her firm took Meikles to court in 2013, the latter, agreed to settle the matter by conceding to pay $482 025 and subsequently on October 30, 2015 offered to pay the full amount due in instalments of $48 202 monthly.
“… these conditions were accepted by making certain payments. Despite the respondent having settled the matter, it failed to pay the amount dues and only paid three instalments, despite many demand,” Lorimer said, adding later that the parties again agreed, based on Meikles’s offer, to vary the original instalments, but nothing materialised, prompting her firm to approach the court seeking its liquidation.