Wednesday, 31 August 2016

TOUR OPERATOR SUES MUGABE OVER TSVANGIRAI DEBT

Joel Travel and Tours has taken the Office of the President and Cabinet alongside the Commissioner-General of of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Retired Major General Paradzai Zimondi, to the High Court seeking to recover $94 748 which the government accrued in vehicle hiring charges.

The operator is demanding $81 247 from President Robert Mugabe’s office for vehicles hired by the Office of the former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during the time of the Government of National Unity.

In an acknowledgement of debt, dated December 12, 2013 signed between the Prime Minister’s Office and Joel Travel and Tours, Tsvangirai’s office acknowledged owing the tour operator the claimed amount.

“The Prime Minister’s Office hereby acknowledges that it owes Joel Travel and Tours $81 247,08. Between the period of February 2013 and August 2013, the Office of the Prime Minister hired vehicles from Joel Travel and Tours,” the letter said.

“The total bill for this period was $108 331,68, of that amount $27 084,60 has been paid.”

After realising the government was playing hide-and-seek over the debt, the tour operator has now approached the court through summons seeking provisional sentence and the matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

Meanwhile, the tour operator also issued summons against Zimondi, demanding payment of $13 501,80.

It also cited the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister as the second respondent.

In its declaration attached to the summons, Joel Travel and Tours said between the periods ranging from October to December 2015, Zimondi hired several vehicles for an agreed fee.

“As it more fully appears from the schedule, an outstanding net amount of $13 501,80 remains outstanding. Despite several demands, the first defendant (Zimondi) has refused or neglected to pay,” the tour operator said.

However, Zimondi and the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister have since entered an appearance to defend notice and are geared to challenge the tour operator’s claim. newsday

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