BY CHARLES LAITON
RIO Tinto-run Murowa Diamonds (Pvt) Ltd was allegedly swindled of $85 000 by Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd after the latter failed to supply an aircraft despite having received the full payment from the mining company.
On Monday, Murowa Diamonds approached the High Court seeking an order to compel the safari operators to deliver the aircraft and or to direct the sheriff to hand it over to the miners.
In its declaration, Murowa Diamonds said on July 26 last year, it entered into an aircraft purchase agreement with Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe, wherein the salient terms of the agreement were that the payment of the full purchase price of $85 000 would be made into the safari operator’s Stanbic Bank account.
“In terms of clause 7(D), the plaintiff (Murowa Diamonds) would inspect and accept the aircraft and the defendant (Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe) would deliver the aircraft to the plaintiff at the delivery location as per clause 6 at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport Zimbabwe after which the full purchase price tendered before delivery would be released to the defendant,” Murowa Diamonds said.
The gem miner further said in terms of clause 19 of the agreement, the parties agreed that in the event of any lawsuit arising from the deal, the prevailing party in any court proceedings would be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees in addition to other allowable costs.
The diamond miners said it then fulfilled its obligation by inspecting the aircraft between May 25 and 27, 2018 and tendered the full purchase price into the Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe’s Stanbic Bank account on March 25, 2019.
However, in breach of the parties’ agreement, Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe is said to have failed to deliver the aircraft as per clause 6 of the agreement.
“Despite demand from the plaintiff, the defendant has failed, refused and or neglected to deliver the aircraft. Wherefore plaintiff claims against the defendant is that the defendant shall deliver the 1978 Cessna 206G, serial number U206-04285, registration number Z-OOM to the plaintiff. In the event that the defendant fails within 14 days to the date of this order to deliver the aircraft to the plaintiff, the sheriff be and is hereby authorised to seize the aircraft from the defendant and deliver it to the plaintiff,” Murowa Diamonds said.
The matter is pending.