Pentecostal Church, Supermarket in rent row

HARARE - A local church has been dragged to the High Court on allegations of cajoling a company into renting their property after misrepresenting that the place offered profitable business.

The firm, Value Chain Trading (Private) Limited (Value Chain) is now demanding $37 500 from Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe (Paz).

According to court papers, the two parties entered into a lease agreement in July last year, wherein Value Chain was to lease its supermarket located along Rezende Street in Harare.

The court heard (Paz) guaranteed Value Chain exceptional business.

“On making the representation, defendant knew it to be false and in fact knew that the location did not support enough business to sustain the rentals demanded or justify the goodwill charged.

“Alternatively, defendant was negligent in making the representation in that it was unaware of the actual business potential of the shop which it was leasing out to Plaintiff,” said Value Chain.

Value Chain paid a goodwill of $30 000 to (Paz) and a further $7 500 as security deposit.

“Upon discovering the truth about the business potential of the premises and finding out of the defendant’s misrepresentation, plaintiff cancelled the lease with defendant just four months into the four-year contract,” reads part of the court summons.

However, (Paz) deny making any misrepresentations as alleged by Value Chain Trading.

“Defendant avers that rather it was the plaintiff who made an offer of the goodwill and rental after the defendant had put up the property for lease and in so doing it was never induced by the defendant at all.

“However, and in any event the defendant denies any fraudulent or negligent misrepresentations implied or alleged by the plaintiff,” said (Paz).

The church further said Value Chain trading had not suffered any damages as a result of the deal.

The matter is still to be allocated a date for a pre-trial conference. - Tendai Kamhungira

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