Dangote sues Zambezi Portland

Lusaka High Court

DANGOTE Industries Zambia Limited has sued Zambezi Portland Cement in the High Court, demanding payment of over K880,000 as refund for the value of unsupplied cement.

According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court commercial registry, Dangote, a private limited company and subsidiary of the Dangote Group of Companies PLC, stated that in December 2014, it entered into an agreement with Zambezi Portland where it was agreed that the latter would supply 990 tonnes of cement valued at K1,267,200.

Dangote Industries stated that during the construction of the plant in Ndola, it paid for purchase of cement but that Zambezi Portland did not fully deliver the agreed contractual amount of cement.

The plaintiffs further stated that they collected some of the cement that was subject to the agreement but that due to some management problems at Zambezi Portland, they were unable to collect the entire consignment agreed in the transaction.

“Due to the urgency of the plaintiff’s need for the cement at the time, the plaintiff had no choice but to make alternative arrangements for the unsupplied cement in order to mitigate its loss,” Dangote Industries stated.

It added that they subsequently requested a refund from Zambezi Port for the value of the unsupplied cement.

“By a letter dated 20th July, 2015, the defendant refused to refund the plaintiff for the value of the unsupplied cement in the sum of eight hundred eighty three thousand two hundred and thirty eight kwacha fifty ngwee (ZMW883,238.50),” the plaintiff stated.

Dangote Industries added that Zambezi Portland had refused to settle the refund for the unsupplied cement.

The plaintiff also submitted that it had suffered loss and inconvenience as a result of the defendant’s action.

Dangote Industries is therefore claiming the K883,238.50 with interest at the current bank lending rates, costs of and incidental to the proceedings and any other relief as the court might deem fit.

But Zambezi Portland filed a defence and a counter-claim against Dangote Industries where it maintained that no refund would be given to the plaintiffs, arguing that they were at liberty to collect the cement so paid for.

The defendant stated that it supplied Dangote Industries some cement and was still ready to supply the remainder so purchased.

The defendant submitted that Dangote Industries’ claim for a refund of the value of the 13,800 bags unsupplied cement had been motivated by the fact that they no longer require the cement they purchased because they completed their construction activities.

They added that Dangote Industries was bound by a contract and as such, they should get the cement which it purchased because the request for refund was not supported by any consideration.

Zambezi Portland, is therefore, counter claiming an order of specific performance that Dangote Industries should collect or accept the cement.

The defendant is also claiming damages for breach of contract or in the alternative damages for loss of bargain, any other relief the court might deem just.