HomeLocal NewsZimdef in another High Court setback

Zimdef in another High Court setback

JULIA NDLELA
THE Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) and Tano Digital Solutions (Tano) have been dealt another blow after the High Court stopped Tano from executing its contract with the quasi-government institution.

This comes after Pan-African software and technology firm Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS), which is questioning the legality of some restrictive contract clauses, had won a case against Zimdef, which saw the quasi-government institution appealing to the Supreme Court.

Once it appealed to the Supreme Court, it would have meant the order issued by the High Court was suspended until a determination by the Supreme Court.

The process was expected to take a long time and TTCS, therefore, appealed to the High Court for leave to execute the pending appeal and this was to stop Tano Digital Solutions from performing the contract.

Both Zimdef and Tano Digital Solutions responded arguing that Tano should continue performing the contract until the case has been heard by the Supreme Court.

High Court Judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi this week, however, ruled in favour of TTCS saying: “The preliminary objections by the first respondent are without merit and are all dismissed.

“The application for leave to execute pending appeal is granted. The order of this court order HC 1886/22 shall remain operational notwithstanding the appeal filed under SC 153/22.”

According to a High Court application under Case Number 1886/22 filed on March 21, 2022, Zimdef floated a tender for the Provision of Systems Applications and Products (SAP) software in February last year, but bidding companies had to be certified to carry out the service, disqualyfying companies like TTCS, which were not SAP-certified but could render services required by the company.

SAP is one of the producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organisations.

TTCS has been rendering its services to Zimdef since 2014 and in 2019 SAP terminated the TTCS Value Added Reseller (VAR) Partnership due to difficulties in remitting foreign currency to SAP South Africa for new software sales and annual maintenance fees.

The company consulted Zimdef on the changes citing its capacity to continue providing services regardless of the partnership termination.

However, the tender was changed with a clause requiring certificates from companies providing SAP services.

High Court Judge Justice Owen Tagu in that previous case ruled in favour of TTCS saying the tender award to Tano Digital Solutions by Zimdef was contrary to law and could not be validly undertaken in the face of the challenge to the tender process.

Following the ruling by Justice Tagu, Zimdef filed an urgent chamber application on March 30 at the Supreme Court appealing for the suspension of the court order to allow Tano Digital to continue with their contract.

There is still a pending determination on another case between TTCS and Zimdef under case number HC 1737/22 in which the software company is challenging the restrictive clauses.

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