ZETDC sues Airzim over unpaid $1,2m bills

Source: ZETDC sues Airzim over unpaid $1,2m bills | The Herald July 6, 2016

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) is battling to recover $1,2 million in unpaid electricity bills from Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

Apparently, assets of the national airline, which owes $873 094 of the total debt, were ring-fenced by the newly amended Section 23 of the Finance Act.

The airline is now immune to attachment of property, a development that has rendered scores of creditors hopeless and clueless on how to recover their debts from Air Zimbabwe Holdings.

The power utility on Thursday issued summons at the High Court claiming $873 094 from Air Zimbabwe and $385 955 from CAAZ plus interest calculated from June 1 this year to the date of payment of the debts in full.

Through its lawyers Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Company, ZETDC unsuccessfully tried to recover the debts before approaching the High Court for recourse.

ZETDC over the past years has been supplying electricity to the two entities as per special request, but a dispute arose when the pair defaulted in payment.

According to the court papers, ZETDC supplied electricity to CAAZ’s four different accounts. As at May 31 this year, CAAZ’s bill stood at $385 955,56. The bill was broken down as follows:

Account No. 1022591 —($6 230,25)

Account No. 1343304 — ($340 728,66)

Account No. 1835463 — ($254,65)

Account No. 2300916 — ($38 742)

ZETDC demanded payment of the debt verbally and in written form, but nothing materialised.

Air Zimbabwe also received electricity from ZETDC and its bill ballooned to $873 094 by May 31 this year.

ZETDC indicated in its claim that it supplied power to the airline’s six Harare accounts and the breakdown of the debt is as follows:

Account No. 1348583 (Harare Airport) — $1 793,63

Account No. 1123522 (City Centre Harare) — $4 288,64)

Account No. 1348584 (Harare Airport) — $7 760,89)

Account No. 1130247 (Expenditure Accounts) — $81 893,13

Account No. 1130248 (Air Zimbabwe) — $94 820,30

Account No. 1343361 (Harare Airport) — $682 537,48

In terms of the new law, the airline’s property is untouchable and in the event of Air Zimbabwe failing to pay a debt, nothing can be attached. Several creditors are clueless on how to recover their debts with the airline, which is now immune to attachment of property.

Recently, some four former managers with the airline, who were owed retrenchment packages amounting to $160 000 challenged the constitutionality of the law at the Constitutional Court.