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Karoi council demands US$128 000 from car supplier over refuse truck

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KAROI Town Council is demanding US$218 200 in damages from Solution Motors for failing to honour a tender agreement to supply a refuse truck in 2017, in a botched deal that has spilled into the courts.
NHAU MANGIRAZI
The NewsHawks understands that after failing to deliver the truck, Solution Motors paid a meagre ZW$78 338.75, a far cry from the full amount, US$109 000, paid by the town council.
A bruising court battle has seen council dragging the vehicle supplier to the High Court, to enforce a 2019 arbitration award.
Council lawyers Mangwana and Partners Legal Practitioners are pushing arbitrator Susan Mutangadura to quantify the damage after Solution Motors reneged on the 12 July 2019 judgement.
The supplier was found guilty of failing to deliver the refuse truck and ordered to pay damages.
Mutangadura ruled that Solution Motors should deliver the truck within 8-12 weeks of the arbitral award or pay back the money.
“In the event that the respondent fails to provide the said truck as said in this order it is hereby ordered the agreement of sale between the two parties is cancelled and respondent shall pay damages to the claimant being equivalent to 70 percent of the value of the value of the same or similar refuse truck as provided in the agreement entered into on 20 July 2017,” read part of the award.
Solution Motors was in breach of contract, meaning Karoi Town Council is entitled to damages.
Documents show that the council legal team has approached the arbitrator to quantify the amount due to Karoi Council.
“Despite protestations from the applicant (Karoi Town Council) that the sum paid was insufficient as it did not represent the true extent of the damages, respondent (Solution Motors) remained unmoved. It is against this background that applicant approaches this tribunal seeking quantification of the arbitral award to enable it to establish the exact amount owed by the respondent and for purposes of enforcement,’’ reads part of the letter copied to the arbitrator Mutangadura.
The arbitration award is similar to a High Court order that gave council right to get a truck in 8-12 weeks from the day the judgment.
“In the present proceedings, applicant seeks quantification of the damages awarded to it so that it retains value of the money expended towards fulfilment of the contractual obligations and that it be placed in the same position it was had the breach not materialised. In terms of the arbitral award as read with the court order, applicant is entitled to damages,”  the lawyers say.
Mutangadura had ruled that in the event that Solution Motors fails to deliver the said truck as provided in this order “the agreement of sale between the parties be cancelled and respondent shall pay damages to the claimant equivalent to 70% of the value of the same or similar refuse truck as provided for in the agreement of sale entered into by the parties on 20 July 2017, where a deposit was paid in US dollars.’’
Solution Motors must pay 70% (US$109 200) of US$156 000. This brings total damages to US $218 200.
“In terms of the above computation, the applicant is entitled to a sum of US$218 200 as damages for breach of contract made up and comprising the deposit paid by applicant (US$109 000). The total sum is payable at the prevailing interbank or auction rate as at the date of payment,” the lawyers say.
“Suffice to mention that the sum of ZW$78 338.75 already paid by respondent will be taken into account and deducted from payments made.”
Solutions Motors is represented by lawyer Tawanda Chitapi of T.H Chitapi and Associates.
Solution Motors and Karoi Town Council went to arbitration in 2019 after a “breach of an agreement of sale”.
Council’s legal team approached the High Court to execute the arbitration award last month after Solution
Motors failed to comply with the award.
The town council proceeded to register the arbitration award registered as an order of the High Court of Zimbabwe on 20 May.
Solution Motors is among three companies blacklisted by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) for duping councils and government after failing to deliver equipment and vehicles.
Praz acting chief executive officer Clever Ruswa confirmed that Solution Motors had been blacklisted.
‘‘Praz blacklisted some of the suppliers that put public tenders and bidding into disrepute. Among the top three that Praz blacklisted are Solution Motors, Tokologo and RMCDIAMONG and Company,” he said.
Solution Motors’ shenanigans came under the spotlight after the company prejudiced the Zimbabwean government of US$207 540 worth of vehicles not delivered by December 2018.
It came to light in the 2018 Auditor-General’s report, after Solution Motors failed to deliver 10 vehicles to the department of irrigation in the ministry of Agriculture.
The department had bought 10 vehicles from Solutions Motors worth US$518 850.

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