THE pre-trial conference in the case in which two Bulawayo companies are claiming R5 million from the MDC-T for printing campaign material, was held in Bulawayo before High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese in his chambers yesterday.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Cabat Trade and Finance (Pvt) Ltd, and Security Mills (Pvt) Ltd were placed under judicial management by the Bulawayo High Court after accruing a debt of R4 627 863,93 for printing MDC-T T-shirts and regalia for the 2008 harmonised elections which the party refused to pay.
It was alleged that MDC-T legislator Eddie Cross and former MDC security advisor Simon Spooner entered into an oral contract with the companies and ordered election regalia for the party sometime in March 2008.
The order was for the manufacturing and supply of 200 000 t-shirts and bandanas. Cross and Spooner allegedly made an undertaking to pay as MDC-T agents, but they defaulted prompting the companies to take them to court.
However, judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha dismissed the companies’ claim after upholding the MDC-T’s defence that Cross and Spooner did not have “express authority” to enter into a contract with the manufacturing companies.
This was despite the fact that the MDC-T took all the merchandise that was ordered by Cross and Spooner and distributed it to its members.
The MDC-T again questioned Spooner’s authority of making an order of campaign material on behalf of the party in the pre-trial conference saying it never entered into a deal with the two firms.
The lawyer for the two companies, advocate Richard Fitches, argued that Cross, who is a member of the MDC-T national council, authorised Spooner to enter into a verbal agreement with Security Mills represented by Laurence Zlattner to print and supply 200 000 MDC-T campaign T-Shirts and bandanas.
Fitches yesterday said the matter was referred for trial by Justice Makonese.
“Yes, the matter was referred for trial. They are challenging Spooner’s authority to seal the deal, but admitted that Cross was a member of their national council,” Fitches said.
“The judge is still processing the minutes of the agreed facts and the matter will be going for trial soon.”
The legal battle has been raging for the past six years and at one time even spilled into the Supreme Court.
The case was referred back to the High Court for further trial on November 28 2012 by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba sitting with justices Ann-Mary Gowora and Yunnus Omerjee after they set aside Justice Kamocha’s ruling.