HARARE – Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwandira’s company AB Communications (AB) has been dragged to the High Court by Rainbow Airlines chief executive Frank Humbe, who is accusing AB of failing to pay him $355 000 for shares it acquired.
Humbe and Day Investments are the applicants, while AB and Rainbow Airlines are cited as respondents.
The court heard that Humbe and AB concluded a sale agreement in respect of 700 shares that Humbe held in Rainbow Airlines, which reportedly constituted 70 percent of the airline’s capital share.
“The material terms of the agreement were the following: the purchase price of the shares was the agreed sum of $355 419, 43 payable in full to second plaintiff (Day Investments).
“Second plaintiff was recognised as the investment vehicle through which first plaintiff (Humbe) concluded the transaction. Upon payment in full, the shares would be transferred from first plaintiff to first defendant (AB),” the court heard.
According to Humbe’s court papers, Mandiwanzira’s firm failed to honour the terms of the agreement, which resulted in the cancellation of the contract on February 12 this year.
“In subsequent discussions, first defendant made a compromise offer for the same shares as follows: first defendant offered to pay the sum of $50 000 to plaintiffs upon acceptance of the offer by them.
“First defendant offered to make monthly payments in the sum of $10 000 until the full sum of $355 419, 43 was fully extinguished. In the event of any default, the whole sum would upon such default become immediately due and payable,” the court heard.
Humbe told the court that he accepted the compromise offer, which terms were recorded.
“In breach of the compromise agreement, first defendant has failed, refused and or neglected to either pay the agreed instalments or liquidate the sum in full,” Humbe said.
He further said that even though Mandiwanzira’s firm has not yet complied with the terms of the agreement, it has taken over the business and is solely running it.
However, in its response, AB has denied ever breaching the terms of the contract, adding that the parties are still to reach a consensus on the terms of payment.
“The defendants aver that the parties were in without prejudice discussions concerning payment, the terms of which inter alia were, the finalisation of the payment terms were to be subject to suspensive conditions, which, upon the plaintiffs fulfilling the payment terms would become binding on the parties.
“The defendants aver that the suspensive conditions were never fulfilled by the plaintiffs hence no binding terms were realised from the parties’ discussions,” the court heard.
Humbe on the other hand said that the parties did not agree on any suspensive conditions.
“Defendants attempt to evade liability by calling in an accusation that first plaintiff hurled malicious damaging remarks against ..Mandiwanzira the first defendant’s de facto proprietor which accusation against first plaintiff is false,” he said.
The airline has since been grounded after making just three flights, the inaugural Harare-Johannesburg and Harare-Victoria Falls flights in January and a charter flight to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when it flew local football club, CAPS United, which hired it to fulfil its Confederations of African Football (Caf) champions league fixture against Congolese football giants, TP Mazembe.
The matter is still to be finalised before the High Court.