BY CHARLES LAITON
National Handling Services (NHS) (Pvt) Ltd has sought the High Court’s permission to serve summons against FastJet Airlines Limited in Tanzania.
According to the court papers FastJet’s address for service is cited as Safasha Plaza, Julius Nyerere Road, Dar es Salaam.
Through its lawyers Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners, NHS initially issued a US$150 000 claim summons against FastJet at the local court, accusing the national airline of reneging the parties’ contractual obligations signed between the two in August 2014.
NHS general manager Godknows Marawanyika said in terms of the rules of the High Court, the summons and the plaintiff’s declaration should be served on the respondent and, in this case, FastJet can only be served with the court process in Tanzania.
“Therefore, the purpose of this application is to seek leave to serve process on the respondent (FastJet) … the process should be served on the respondent by Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners through any of its legal practitioners,” Marawanyika said in his founding affidavit.
In his explanation, Marawanyika said his firm entered into a ground handling agreement with FastJet on August 1, 2014 and the terms of the signed agreement were, inter alia, that NHS would provide ground handling services to the airline as stipulated in the parties’ agreement.
He further said it was also agreed that FastJet would pay for services rendered to it in United States dollars and further that invoices were to be paid on or before the seventh day of each month.
Marawanyika also said it was further agreed that in the event that the invoices were not paid within the prescribed time, the overdue amount would attract an interest of US$100 per day until the full amount was paid.
“Pursuant to the agreement, the plaintiff (NHS) rendered ground handling services to the defendant (FastJet) and presented invoices to the defendant for payment. In breach of the terms of the agreement, the defendant failed to honour the discrete invoices rendered by plaintiff and an amount of US$149 018,27 inclusive of interest up to March 31, 2019, is due and payable,” he said.
According to Marawanyika, in terms of clause 11 of the parties’ agreement, FastJet consented to be subjected to the jurisdiction of the local courts in the event that the parties would end up in court.
“Despite demand, the defendant has failed, refused and/or neglected to pay the aforementioned amount. Wherefore, the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant is for payment of US$149 018 and interest on the unpaid balances calculated at the agreed rate of US$100 per day plus cost of suit.”
The matter is pending.