24 January 2013

Zimbabwe: ZETDC Sues NRZ Over Electricity Bill

ZIMBABWE Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is suing the National Railways of Zimbabwe over an electricity bill to the tune of US$384 144. NRZ in Kwekwe consumed power between January 2009 and April 2011 but failed to clear the bill.

This prompted the power utility to seek a High Court order compelling the NRZ to settle the bill.

ZETDC through its lawyers Masawi and Partners argue that NRZ had refused to settle the bill despite demand.

The parties, according to the summons, entered into an agreement in which ZETDC would supply electricity to NRZ's station in Kwekwe. NRZ would, in turn, pay for the power on a monthly basis.

The power was supplied to NRZ between 2009 and 2011 and the bill ballooned to US$384 144, 87.

However, ZETDC says, NRZ breached the agreement by failing to pay for electricity supplied and consumed.

"Defendant is thus in arrears and indebted to the plaintiff in the sum of US$384 144, 87," read part of the summons.

NRZ contested the application through a defendant's plea that was filed at the High Court by its lawyers Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni law firm.

The railway firm argues that the agreement between the parties meant that NRZ would be billed for actual electricity supplied and consumed.

NRZ challenges the billing system as well as the manner in which the figures claimed were arrived at.

"Defendant does not know how this figure was arrived at.

"Defendant also puts the plaintiff to the proof thereof," read the plea.

NRZ also contends that it paid for all the electricity it consumed and that it was not responsible for the US$384 144 being claimed by ZETDC.

The matter is now at pre-trial conference stage and Justice Hlekani Mwayera will on February 5 hear the parties in her chambers.

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