TelOne drags RioZim to Court over telephone bill

By Staff reporter | 27 Nov 2018 at 10:55hrs
Telone (Private) Limited has dragged Rio Tinto Zimbabwe Limited to the High Court after the mining company reportedly failed to pay a $144 000 telephone and rent bill.

According to court papers, Rio Tinto applied for telephone services for its Kadoma Eiffel Flats branch from TelOne.

The application was granted and the parties agreed that the telephone account 30010241 would be charged on a monthly basis with Rio Tinto also paying for the service on a monthly basis.

But Rio Tinto, which is cited as the defendant is said to have breached the agreement as it failed to pay for the telephone services that were supplied to it.

As a result, TelOne is arguing that Rio Tinto is indebted to it to the tune of $144 693, 40.

According to court papers, $10 543, 74, which is part of the total amount being demanded is for rent.

"Despite several demands, the defendant has failed, neglected and or refused to pay the total amount due. The defendant has no right to refuse to make payment after it used the plaintiff's telephone services," the court was told.

However, Rio Tinto claimed in its response that TelOne had filed its application out of the prescribed time and must not be entertained.

"The debt claimed arises from provision of telephone services by plaintiff to defendant. It is common cause that the debt that accrued thereof, was to be paid monthly.
It is further common cause that the defendant accrued the debt between 2009 and 2014. Given that the said debt arose in 2009, plaintiff would have had a claim against defendant from 2009 and prescription would have begun to run from 2009.

"The plaintiff, however, pleads interruption of prescription on the basis that, firstly, the defendant made payment between November 2016 and February 2017, and secondly, prepared a reconciliation of the alleged debt on the 1st of January 2017," Rio Tinto argued.

The company further argued that the payment was made long after the prescription period, as defined in Section 2 of the Prescription Act (Chapter 8:11).

"It is further common cause that debts, such as those being claimed by the plaintiff herein prescribe after a period of three years, in accordance with the provision of Section 15 (d) of the Act," the court was told.

The matter is still to be finalised by the High Court.



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