Dar es Salaam. The High Court (Commercial Division) has ordered innovation company, Tech Hub Limited, to pay leading mobile operator Vodacom Tanzania Plc Sh315.5 million for breach of bulk SMS agreement. The court issued a default judgment in favour of Vodacom after Tech Hub failed to appear in court to defend their case.
Vodacom sued Tech Hub last year and sought orders to compel the firm to settle Sh315.5 million in charges for bulk SMS services provided by the company under bulk SMS service agreement entered between the two in October, 2018.
Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, Vodacom agreed to provide bulk SMS services to Tech Hub. Vodacom claimed it provided the services and issued various invoices to the defendant for settlement.
It was alleged that whereas invoices worth Sh393.5 million covering the period between October, 2018 and August, 2019 were raised, the defendant breached the agreement by paying only Sh78 million.
“Despite several demands and follow-ups, the defendant failed to pay the invoiced amount which stood at Sh315.9 when the case was instituted before this court,” according to court documents.
Tech Hub fails to appear in court
Soon after the case was filed, the court ordered Tech Hub to file the written statement of defence.
However, on December 12, 2020, lawyer who represented Vodacom, Jonathan Wangubo informed the court that the Tech Hub had not been found.
The court allowed Vodacom to notify Tech Hub of the pending case through publication of summons in The Citizen and Mwananchi newspapers in which the firm was ordered to file defence. Until August 4, 2020 the defendant had not filed written statement of defence.
Rule 22 (1) of the High Court (Commercial Division) allows a complainant to ask the court to enter a default judgment in their favour.
Judge Cyprian Mkeha said in a judgment issued on Wednesday that he was satisfied that conditions for issuing a default judgment were met after the defendant failed to enter defence even after being notified through publications.
He ordered the company to pay Vodacom Sh315.5 million that would attract interest at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) rate form September 1, 2019 to the date of the judgment.