FORMER President Robert Mugabe was duped by a local potato seed supplier who lied that the seed was imported from neighbouring South Africa and charged him an exorbitant price when in fact, it was locally sourced.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Due to the misrepresentation, Mugabe’s family business, Gushungo Holdings suffered a loss of income in the sum of $428 385, a minimum they expected to earn if they had been supplied with the best quality potato seed.
Mugabe’s company, according to court papers, is now suing Seed Potato Co-op, claiming $712 530 as compensation from the company for the deal that went sour way back in 2015. The company is alleging it was duped into buying substandard seed on the guise that it was quality seed from South Africa.
The overpriced seed, the company said, did not produce the desired yields, leaving Gushungo Holdings facing losses that it is demanding compensation for.
Seed Potato Co-op had earlier sued Gushungo Holdings demanding $174 183 for potato seed supplied in 2015 to the company and not paid for.
A default judgment was entered on July 2 by Justice Joseph Musakwa after Gushungo Holdings failed to defend the litigation filed by the seed company sometime this year.
But last Friday, through its lawyers Messrs Chivore Dzingirai Group of Lawyers, Gushungo Holdings issued summons against Seed Potato which is yet to enter appearance to defend.
In its declaration, Gushungo Holdings said sometime in July 2015, it entered into an oral agreement with the Seed Potato whereby the latter allegedly agreed to supply the former Head of State’s business with quality seed imported from South Africa.
In terms of the said agreement, the seed company was supposed to deliver potato seed worth $752 000 between July 6, 2015 and August 22, 2015.
It was also agreed that the seed company was to deliver “high quality seeds” which were to be imported from South Africa and that the same firm would produce certification or approval of the quality of seed upon delivery to Gushungo Holdings.
“The parties agreed that the seeds to be supplied by the defendant (Seed Potato) were expected to produce a harvest of a minimum of 70 tonnes per hectare. Defendant delivered potato seeds for the value of $382 830 between the period from July 21, 2015 to September 24, 2015,” Gushungo Holdings said.
“The defendant further charged the plaintiff (Gushungo Holdings) the price for imported potato seed and yet it had delivered locally obtained seed. Defendant further breached the contract by failing to produce to the plaintiff any documentation for certification or approval of the seed.”
As a result of the breach, the seed supplied did not produce the expected yield, despite having planted the potato seed with the entire necessary husbandry and consequently suffered huge losses.
“Plaintiff ought to have realised a minimum profit of $428 385 if the defendant had delivered the imported quality seeds as agreed to by the parties. Plaintiff has thus suffered loss of income in the sum of $428 385 due to defendant’s breach,” Gushungo Holdings said.
“Wherefore plaintiff claims for an order for payment of the sum of $284 145 being the loss suffered by the plaintiff after the defendant and in breach of the oral agreement between the parties, delivered defective and substandard quality potato seed …”
The matter is pending.