ZANZIBAR Telecom Company Limited (ZANTEL) has filed an application at the High Court's Commercial Division against businessman Haidari Rashid, to challenge the payments of more than 800m/- following a transaction involving supply of air conditioners.
In the application that has been set for hearing before Judge Agnes Bukuku on March 6, ZANTEL, through legal services - FK Law Chambers and Advocates - is seeking for extension of time to lodge fresh notice of appeal against judgment and decree of the court and serve Mr Rashid the notice out of time.
Furthermore, ZANTEL is asking for extension of time to file afresh memorandum and records of appeal to challenge the court's decision given by Judge Amir Mruma on November 20, 2009 and be granted leave to appeal to the Court of appeal.
"There are serious irregularities and mischief in proceedings of the trial court in that the cas giving rise to this application and to the intended appeal arise out of a contract whose total value was 73,296,000/- only," Dr Angela Mapunda, counsel for ZANTEL, stated in an affidavit supporting the application.
But, he added, "the lower court granted a huge amount of general damages amounting to 821,068,965/62, which was inexplicably and mysteriously awarded, execution was hastily enforced and the amounts collected." Facts of the case show that the businessman Haidari Rashid, trading as Nararisa Enterprises, entered into agreement with ZANTEL for supply of air conditioners.
Following such agreement on June 27, 2007, Mr Rashid issued local purchase order for supply of the goods worth 73,296,000/-. The businessman subsequently supplied the goods in four phases and out of the purchase price, ZANTEL paid 19,836,000/- only, leaving a balance of 53,460,000/- unpaid.
Mr Rashid demanded for payment of the balance, but ZANTEL refused to pay on grounds that the supplied goods were returned to him. On November 14, 2007, the businessman filed a case against ZANTEL at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam, claiming, among others, for payment of the balance, being principal sum, interests, general damages and costs of the suit.
On August 6, 2009, the trial magistrate gave judgment in favour of the businessman and ordered ZANTEL to pay him the entire claimed sum of 53,460,000/-, interest from the date of filing the suit to the date of judgment, which reached 84,316,781/10.
The magistrate also awarded general damages of 300m/-, costs of the suit and ordered ZANTEL to pay an outstanding debt of 252,572,952/04 to Mr Rashid's banker, Boa Bank Tanzania. Aggrieved by the decision, ZANTEL filed an appeal before the High Court's Commercial Division. But on November 20, 2009, Judge Mruma dismissed the appeal in its entirety.
Still aggrieved, on November 27, 2009, ZANTEL filed a notice of appeal and applied for copies of judgment, decree and proceedings for the purposes of preparing an appeal to the Court of Appeal. After having collected documents for the intended appeal, ZANTEL noticed the absence of an order of the court, granting him leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
ZANTEL had to file another application for extension of time to apply for permission to take the matter to the appeals court. But on August 3, 2010, Judge Robert Makaramba rejected the application. After ZANTEL had filed the notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal, the businessman also filed an application to strike out the notice in question because the intended appeal was incompetent for want of leave of the High Court.
On September 2, 2011, the Court of Appeal granted the application and "strike out" the notice of appeal, thus compelling ZANTEL to start afresh by filing the application in question.