The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) has been taken to court by AR Mandizvidza Architect, trading as Amandiz Architect, over a 2007 debt amounting to US$170 777.96.
Court papers, seen by NewZimbabwe.com, show that the two parties entered into an agreement to carry out architectural designs at ZIMSEC’s two properties in Norton.
The court heard work commenced in 2009, but an accounting dispute arose between the two parties.
The engineers claimed ZIMSEC had an outstanding payment for works done on the two projects.
ZIMSEC wants the matter treated as stale debt and prescribed on the grounds that the issue was initially raised on August 24, 2007.
The examination council argued the architects also had an opportunity to initiate a court case but waited for years until 2020. ZIMSEC argued:
As far as Zimsec was concerned, it had settled in full all payments that were due to the respondent, and was no longer liable for any further payments arising from work that had already been done under the agreement.
To ZIMSEC’s surprise, it then received another letter from the respondent dated June 14, 2016, barely a week after it had made the payment referred to above, to which was attached a new invoice. Effectively, the respondent was now making a fresh claim against Zimsec for payment in the sum of US$285 447.49, which the respondent claimed to be the amount outstanding for the works done in respect of the printing press and the sorting warehouse, during the Zimbabwe dollar era prior to 2009,” complained the council.
This has been allowed by the High Court.
ZIMSEC alleges that Amandiz lawyers wrote letters of demand claiming varying amounts- US$1 307 972.46 as underpayments which then deflated to US$621 957.82 on April 30 last year.
However, Amandiz said payment requests are for work done after the Zimbabwe dollar era. The company said the invoice was given in 2020 after ZIMSEC terminated the contract between the parties.
High Court judge, Justice Webster Chinamora, granted the order in favour of Zimsec, allowing it to pursue its case against the architects.