Bishop Ndanga fails to pay rent

Johannes Ndanga, the president of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) and long time supporter of President Robert Mugabe

HARARE – Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) leader Johannes Ndanga has been dragged to the High Court for failing to pay $45 000 in rent for Pax House.

His landlord Paget-Pax Endowment Trust is the applicant, while ACCZ and Ndanga are cited as first and second respondents.

According to court papers, the parties entered into a written lease agreement in June 2013, prior to which Ndanga had signed a deed of suretyship in May 2013, making himself a co-principal debtor.

“Under the written lease agreement, the agreed initial monthly rental was $2 189,25 for the period June 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, which was subject to be negotiated for subsequent periods.

“The first and second respondents (ACCZ and Ndanga) has paid some small amounts but the manner in which they have been paying has been elusive that the payments tantamount to nothing to the plaintiff’s prejudice,” the court heard.

According to court papers, the church organisation is in arrears of $45 314, 11, which the company claims has not been paid to date.

“The first and second respondents have on several occasions acknowledged the outstanding amount in favour of the plaintiff but to no avail.

“The arrear rental have not been paid for over a year now and have accrued interest calculated at five percent per annum until the full and final payment of the sum owing as enshrined under Clause 35.1 of the written lease agreement,” the court heard.

The company told the court that despite demands, Ndanga and the organisation have failed, neglected and refused to pay the debt.

Ndanga only entered an appearance to defend, but did not file a full response to the claim, which prompted the company to file an application for a default judgment to be granted in its favour.

According to Farai Bembere, who is the company’s trustee, Ndanga was barred from filing any further papers, after he failed to plead to the claim within the stipulated time frame.

“The respondents filed an appearance to defend…which essentially is only meant to frustrate applicant. This is done despite respondent having signed and confirmed its indebtedness to the applicant not once but several times with the recent acknowledgment of debt having been signed after the applicant had already instituted proceedings,” Bembere said.

The company is now seeking an order for the payment of the money, plus a five percent interest per annum.