CALLANDER ENTERPRISES (PRIVATE) LIMITED
ECONET WIRELESS (PRIVATE) LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 15 September 2017 & 9 May 2018
L Zero, for the plaintiffs
S Mubvuma, for the defendant
MATANDA-MOYO J: The plaintiffs sued the defendant for payment of $54 000 plus interest plus costs of suit. The claim is based on unjust enrichment. The plaintiffs alleged that sometime in 2008 they entered into a verbal contract with the defendant for the supply of shared phone sim cards. The parties also had a separate written agreement separate from the verbal one above.
In terms of the verbal agreement the plaintiffs would, through the use of their own funds purchase shared phone sim cards from a company called Shared Phone (Pvt) Ltd, which company was based in South Africa. Such sim cards would be delivered to the defendant who would register, activate and allocate phone numbers to the sim card for distribution to payphone operators. The understanding from the plaintiffs was that at a later stage the verbal agreement would be reduced into writing and parties would agree on a share of profits. In terms of the proposed agreement the plaintiffs were to get 10% on all re charges.
The plaintiffs thus bought 2500 sim cards, had them registered with the defendant and distributed to end users. The defendant advised the plaintiff that they would be responsible for replacing lost or damaged sim cards resulting in the plaintiff purchasing a further 200 shared sim cards for replacement purposes. In 2014 the plaintiffs got the knowledge that defendant had converted the pay phones into buddie lines which are active to this date. The defendant is thus deriving a benefit from the buddie lines yet has not paid anything towards those lines.