Diamond company sued over US$500 000 rentals debt

THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) is suing diamond mining company Anjin Investments for breach of contract after it defaulted in paying more than US$500 000 in rentals and utility fees for using premises at Harare International Airport.

By Hazel Ndebele

Anjin is a Chinese mining company which built the First Lady’s US$7 million state-of-the-art Grace Mugabe Junior School in Mazowe.

The company is a joint venture between China’s Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co Ltd (Afec), and Matt Bronze Enterprises — a front for the Defence ministry and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces through Glass Finish Investments (Pvt) Ltd.

This comes at a time when President Robert Mugabe has said close to US$15 billion was looted since the discovery of diamonds in Chiadzwa.

High Court documents seen by this paper show that Anjin had failed to pay rent for more than two years and as at December 30 2016 owed Caaz US$563 962. The company also failed to pay US$14 802 in utilities.

“In breach of the terms and conditions of the aforesaid lease agreement 1st defendant (Anjin Investments) failed to pay its rent and operating costs in full or at all and accumulated arrears thereby in sum of US$578 632 as at December 30 2016. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s (Caaz) demand 1st defendant has refused to settle its indebtedness,” read the summons dated January 26 2017 and written by Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans Legal Practitioners on behalf of Caaz.

Caaz, in the court papers, is demanding that Anjin clear the arrears in full with interest of 5% above the commercial bank’s minimum lending rate per month from December 30 2016 to date of payment in full. It also demanded payment of damages as well as cost of suit on legal practitioner and client scale.

“Payment of holding over damages in the sum of US$14 802 per month together with interest thereon at the prescribed rate of 5% above the commercial banks minimum lending rate per month from January 1 2017 to date of 1st defendant’s ejectment,” read the documents.

The court documents show that at the time, Anjin persisted in occupation of the Caaz premises despite the cancellation of the lease agreement.

However, sources close to the developments told the Zimbabwe Independent that Anjin Investments has since moved from the Caaz premises to Long Cheng Shopping Mall in Belvedere, Harare.

According to the lease agreement, Anjin was supposed to pay monthly rentals of US$13 800 and US$1 002 in utility fees.

As reported by this paper, Anjin and Jinan, both Chinese companies, siphoned millions of dollars through their subsidiary company before government stopped all mining operations in Chiadzwa.

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