Telecel summoned over US$34k rent arrears

TELECEL has been dragged to court over the non-payment of rentals at a Mabelreign, Harare, property amounting to US$34 400

The plaintiff, Peter Saopa, said he entered into a lease agreement with the mobile network operator in February 2010 that was meant to run for 15 years until the last day of January 2025 starting on a US$200 monthly rental. 

This, according to the agreement, would be reviewed after the first six months and yearly afterwards in line with the prevailing economic conditions, but paid six months in advance.

On the said property, Telecel erected its cellular telecommunications, mounted a cellular antenna and microwave equipment, according to the papers filed at the High Court on November 4.

The rentals, according to the papers, through an addendum were increased to US$1 075 on February 12, 2014, and the relationship continued as mutually agreed until 2018.

“On or around June 2018, the defendant unilaterally ceased rental payments due to the plaintiff without legal justification. However, the defendant remained in occupation and made no effort to remedy the breach of contract,” read the court papers.

“In the numerous email correspondences between the plaintiff and the defendant, the defendant acknowledged that it owed the plaintiff certain rental payments.”

The defendant, however, is said to have made a payment in local currency which was a far cry from the money owed and numerous demands for the company to settle their dues have largely been ignored.

“The plaintiff, on various occasions, has made demands via email to the defendant for the full payment of the outstanding amounts, which are due and lawfully owed to him. The plaintiff sent his last demand as a formal letter through his legal practitioners dated September 21, 2021. However, despite these various demands, the defendant has failed, refused and or neglected to settle the amount.”

The applicant is seeking to have Telecel ordered to pay the full amount in unpaid rentals for 32 months in terms of the lease agreement entered into between the two parties.

The matter is yet to be heard.