Illegal power disconnection costs ZETDC

By Staff reporter | 05 Apr 2019 at 08:19hrs
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) will have to fork out over half a million dollars to compensate a Masvingo businessman for loss of income after the power utility cut off electricity supply to his business premises.

Charles Musimiki, who operates his business at Nyika Growth Point, had sued the company for unlawful disconnection of power.

Justice Benjamin Chikowero granted a default judgement after ZETDC's representatives failed to appear for the pre-trial conference to decide on the matter.

Earlier on Justice Edith Mushore had struck off the matter off the roll on the grounds that ZETDC had not come to court and entered a judgement in favour of the businessman.

She referred the matter to the unopposed roll in terms of the High Court rules for quantifications of damages.

On March 27, Justice Chikowero ordered that: "Respondent pays damages in the sum of US$581 800 being rental income applicant would have earned from stand 1894 Nyika Growth Point, Bikita had it not been for the unlawful disconnection of electricity from the property by respondent.

"Respondent pays interest thereof at the prescribed rate from August 3, 2017 to date of payment in full and respondent pays costs of suit on a legal practitioner and client scale."

Musimiki entered into a five-year lease agreement with Vascert Investments (Pvt) who was renting the premises at a rate of US$10 000 per month.

As part of the agreement, the premises were to be fully electrified. However, without notice or cause, ZETDC on November 18, 2015, disconnected electricity at the premises. Following the unlawful disconnection, Vascert Investments terminated the lease agreement.

"Vascert Investments entered into a lease agreement with you to occupy your building for the purpose of conducting its business," read the termination letter.

"This was in the understanding that conditions set out in our lease agreement would be satisfied in full. However, upon inspection, your building does not have electrical connection.

"Therefore we will not be able to occupy this building as agreed, we are terminating the agreement immediately."

Musimiki, through his lawyer Mr Everesto Matiza from G.H Muzondo and partners, took ZETDC to court demanding a payment of US$600 000, the amount he said would have earned from Vascert had it not been for the unlawful electricity disconnection.



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