Swedish company sues Hwange Colliery

HARARE - A Swedish firm has filed a High Court lawsuit against Hwange Colliery Company Limited for failing to pay a 2006 debt.

The company Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB, claims in court papers that it entered into an agreement with Hwange Colliery for the supply of Roc L8 Hydraulic Drill Rigs worth $2 102 000 in 2006.

According to the agreement, Hwange was to pay the amount in instalments at an interest rate of 10 percent every year and was to make the full payment by end of September 2008.

The court heard that Atlas Copco supplied the drills but the mining company only managed to pay part of the full amount, leaving a balance of $673 447, 88.

Hwange however, said the Swedish company was claiming more than it was supposed to get.

“Defendant (Hwange) admits contracting with the Plaintiff but however, avers that the contract being pleaded by Plaintiff was in United States dollars and was concluded during a period when it was illegal to contract in foreign currency without lawful authority.

“Consequently, Defendant disputes the correctness of the amount being claimed by Plaintiff in the sum of $673 447, 88 and avers that if there is any balance still outstanding to Plaintiff (Atlas Copco) then the balance does not amount to more than $260 131, 57, ” Hwange said.

Hwange told the court that the contract was unlawful and unenforceable.

“Plaintiff is not entitled to any payment of any amount from Defendant arising out of the contract in question,” Hwange claims in court papers.

The matter is still to be allocated a date for a pre-trial conference at the High court. - Business Writer

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