Doves Funeral Assurance (Pvt) Ltd has dragged Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) (Pvt) Ltd to court claiming US$4 million in damages, businessdigest has established.
Court documents show that Doves has issued summons seeking an order compelling the mine to honour an agreement between the two companies after Zimplats allegedly rescinded an agreement between Zimplats and Doves and the mining group.
According to Doves’ declaration, on December 27 2012, Zimplats made a written invitation to the funeral assurance company inviting the firm to participate in a tender for the platinum mine’s employee funeral scheme.
“The said tender process was open from 28th of December 2012 to the 11th of January 2013 and subject to terms and conditions as set out in the invitation to the tender document,” the document reads.
“In terms of clause 1,3 of the invitation to tender, submission of a tender form by any tenderer would constitute an agreement to be bound to a written contract with the defendant whose terms and conditions were set out in the Zimplats General Conditions of Contract.”
Doves argues that in terms of the provisions of the Zimplats invitation to tender constituted contract between the mining company and successful tenderer.
“ It was a clear term of the Invitation to Tender in terms of clause 3.1.2, that the successful tender would be required to provide a funeral scheme to all defendant’s employees and that the defendant would be bound to implement an employee funeral scheme with the successful tenderer,” the court documents read.
“Plaintiff duly submitted a tender bid in the manner and time period prescribed in the invitation to tender and the thereby plaintiff and defendant became bound by terms of the Zimplats General Conditions of contract in the event of plaintiff being adjudged to be the successful tenderer.”
Doves says Zimplats through its group supplies manager, Relax Masoka, advised the funeral assurance company in writing that the plaintiff had been adjudged to be the successful tenderer.
The company argues that the invitation to tender communication by Zimplats on March 20 2013 constituted an agreement between the parties and was bound to establish the Zimplats Employee Funeral Scheme on the basis of terms and conditions set out in the general conditions of contract.
“Consequent to the aforesaid agreement between the plaintiff and defendant, plaintiff, in fulfillment of its obligations as set out in the General Conditions of Contract and revised Funeral Policy Contract given to the plaintiff through correspondence by defendant on the 5th of April 2013, made all necessary arrangements for the commencement of the contract on the 1st of May 2013,” the document reads.
“On March 26 2013 defendant through its representative, Kevin Jokonya, duly provided plaintiff with a list of all of defendant’s employees who were on defendant’s in-house scheme which was to be used for enrolling policy holders and their dependents thereby consummating the agreement between the parties.”
Doves says through an arrangement co-ordinated by Zimplats’ the two parties dispatched two teams to Selous and at the mine in Ngezi to enroll members for the funeral scheme which saw 2087 members being enrolled.
The funeral assurance company says Doves complied with all its obligations including the signing of a written contract between the parties and implementation of the funeral scheme in terms of the Zimplats General Condition of Contract.
On October 7 2013, Zimplats through its representative Takawira Maswiswi purported to unilaterally rescind from the agreement between the parties, Doves said.
After the unilateral rescission of the agreement, Zimplats did not accede to it.
“Defendant’s purported attempt to rescind from the agreement between the parties was wrongful and unlawful and constituted a material breach of the terms of the invitation to tender and Zimplats General Condition of Contract binding between plaintiff and defendant,” read the declaration.
As a result of the breach of agreement, Doves says they suffered damages to the tune of US$3,2 million calculated as profit due to the firm in the projected 20 year duration of the employee funeral scheme. The company is also claiming US$972 000 in premiums due for the period June 2013 to May 2014.