The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has petitioned the High Court seeking to register a deed of settlement signed by former Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, who is said to have failed to settle a $311 000 electricity debt.
The power utility recently filed a court application seeking an order to have the deed of settlement registered to recover its money.According to the court papers, Sekeramayi owns Ulva Farm, which accumulated the debt that he has allegedly failed to settle.
Through its lawyers Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners, the power utility initially issued the summons to the former minister on September 13, 2018 following which he acknowledged the debt and offered a payment plan.
“On September 28, 2019 and at Harare, the applicant (ZETDC) and the respondent (Sekeramayi) signed a deed of settlement in terms of which it was agreed that the respondent would pay the applicant a total of $319 000, being charges for electricity supplied by the latter to the former,” ZETDC’s company secretary Judith Tsamba said in an affidavit.
“It was also agreed that in the event of the respondent’s failure to pay any instalment due in terms of the deed of settlement, then the whole amount outstanding would become due and payable.”
Tsamba further said in breach of the deed of settlement, Sekeramayi has, since the signing of the agreement, only managed to pay a total of $7 500, which he also paid in “dribs and drabs”.
“By reason of the respondent’s breach, the whole amount in the sum of $311 500 is now due and payable … this has necessitated the making of this application to enable the applicant to recover the outstanding sum,” she said.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.
FORMER president Robert Mugabe’s project to appoint former defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi as his successor failed due to an array of reasons: his lack of gravitas, weak support from the deposed veteran leader as well as from the Zanu PF commissariat and critical party structures.
Insiders said this week Sekeramayi proved to be a reluctant and weak candidate, as he appeared timid to provide leadership to the G40 faction which had coalesced around Mugabe and his wife Grace at the zenith of the Zanu PF succession battle.
After the May 2017 “Mexico Declaration”, which heightened Mugabe’s succession war within the splintered Zanu PF, the G40 faction hastily formed a special committee led by the then party’s political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere to introduce Sekeramayi across the country’s 10 provinces as the veteran leader’s preferred heir apparent.
While on a visit to Mexico to attend the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Mugabe finally decided to take a decisive step to resolve the Zanu PF succession squabbles by assigning Kasukuwere to lead the process to promote Sekeramayi as his successor ahead of his long-time ally and the then co-vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Insiders say Mugabe had given Kasukuwere the task because he was the national commissar, energetic but also to contain his own raw power ambitions. At the time, Kasukuwere was fighting for political survival after being bruised by internal infighting and demonstrations against him, which Grace initially supported to checkmate him.
Despite this development, insiders say Sekeramayi did not seize the initiative to assertively thrust himself in the public domain and at the forefront of Zanu PF’s politics as Mugabe’s successor, except for two or three rallies where he languidly appeared to do so, was largely invisible and ineffective.