Court name
Bulawayo High Court
Case number
HC 924 of 2002

Freezewell Refrigeration v Bard Real Estates (HC 924 of 2002) [2002] ZWBHC 119 (16 October 2002);

Law report citations
Media neutral citation
[2002] ZWBHC 119

                                                                                    Judgment No. HB 119/2002

                                                                                    Case No. HC 924/2002












N Ndlovufor the applicant

J Sibandafor the respondent


Opposed Matter


            CHIWESHE J:          The applicant sued the respondent under case number


758/02 for payment of the sum of $403 156,00 being the balance for work, labour and


materials supplied to the respondent by the applicant between January and February




            The respondent company had contracted the applicant to repair air


conditioners at Forestry Commission Building in Bulawayo.  It had also contracted


the applicant company to repair doors for that building.  At the time of the agreement


no quotations had been supplied indicating the cost of the work to be done.  Applicant


duly performed its part of the contract and tendered an invoice in the sum of        


$300 400,00 for the repairs of the air conditioners and $244 980,00 for the repair of


the doors.  The total cost of the repairs amounted to $545 380,00.  Of this amount the


respondent company has paid $153 624,00.  In addition the applicant sought to


recover an amount of $11 400,00 being travelling expenses to Harare in pursuit of




            The respondent entered an appearance to defend the matter and filed its plea. 




                                                                                                            HB 119/02



In its plea the respondent admits that applicant carried out the work it was contracted


to do but contends that the charges raised by the applicant were duly unreasonable and


exorbitant, and that they required applicant to prove the reasonableness of those


charges.  The respondent also stated that the sum of $153 624,00 had been paid by


their Harare head office owing to undue pressure exerted upon them by the applicant


and that the said head office did so without the full background knowledge of the


facts.  Therefore that payment had been made in error as respondent had queried


applicant’s invoice from the time of its presentation.   Further the respondent avers


that travelling to Harare had not been part of the agreement and that the applicant did


so of its own accord.  As such respondent was not liable for any expenses incurred in


that regard.  The respondent therefore consented to payment of “proven reasonable


charges”, while denying the present charges.  He denied liability for the present charges


on the grounds that they were exorbitant.


            Notwithstanding this plea which clearly discloses a defence on the part of the


respondent the applicant proceeded to apply for summary judgment.  It cannot be said


that the applicant has established a clear and unanswerable case upon which an


application of that nature can be granted.  The respondent is entitled to query the


reasonableness of the charges levied against it.  The applicant alleges that an officer


of the respondent had verbally agreed to meet the charges.  This is denied by the


respondent, thereby giving rise to a factual dispute which cannot be resolved without


hearing viva voce evidence.  Further it is obvious that in the circumstances the


sum claimed cannot be regarded as liquid as it is subject to proof.





                                                                                                            HB 119/02



            Accordingly there is absolutely no merit in this application.  The application is


hereby dismissed with costs on the higher scale.








Lazarus & Sarifapplicant’s legal practitioners

Job Sibanda & Associatesrespondent’s legal practitioners