The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Matonga Sues Seedco for U.S.$300 000

MHONDORO-Ngezi legislator Cde Bright Matonga is suing Seedco Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited for over US$300 000 after the company allegedly breached a farming contract entered during the 2010-2011 farming season.

In summons filed at the High Court, Cde Matonga alleges that on November 2, 2010, he entered into a certified hybrid seed maize contract for the 2010-2011 with Seedco Zimbabwe.

"It was an express term of the agreement that the plaintiff would produce hybrid seed maize exclusively for the defendant on the land on his disposal using parent seed maize issued by the defendant.

"The plaintiff was to produce 540 tonnes of certified seed which the defendant would pay US$560 per tonne to the plaintiff," Cde Matonga said.

He added:

"The plaintiff duly performed in terms of the contract and delivered 540 tonnes of certified seed as per contract to the defendant which the defendant confirmed to comply with the set standards."

Seedco Zimbabwe provided Cde Matonga with inputs valued at US$41 316,89.

Cde Matonga is claiming US$266 483,11 from the company.

"Therefore, in terms of the contract, the defendant was supposed to pay the sum due amounting to US$266 483,11 (inclusive of a 10 percent per tonne early delivery incentive) within 10 days of delivery. Despite numerous demands, the defendant has failed, refused or neglected to pay the amount due and owing to the plaintiff."

He is also claiming US$59 615,36 from Seedco Zimbabwe being the total sum of costs associated with land preparation, the value of inputs, loss of income and several damages "as per the contract for the production of soya beans which was entered into by the plaintiff and the defendant".

He alleges that in December 2010 he entered into a contract with Seedco Zimbabwe for the production of soya beans.

In terms of the contract, Seedco Zimbabwe supplied Cde Matonga with standard soya bean seeds. "In breach of the contract, the defendant supplied the plaintiff with soya bean seeds which were of poor quality. As such, the seeds failed to germinate and were even unexpectedly rotting below ground level," alleges Cde Matonga.

Cde Matonga claims that as a result the poor quality seeds delivered to him by Seedco Zimbabwe, he suffered financial loss associated with land preparation, costs and general damages.

"Despite numerous demands, the defendant has failed, refused or neglected to pay the amount due and owing to the plaintiff, that is US$59 615,36. In the circumstances of the case, it is just and proper that an order be made compelling the defendant to comply with its contractual obligations in terms of the first claim and pay damages to the plaintiff, in terms of the second claim, as per the above mentioned two contracts, respectively," he said.

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