Harare City Council and its partner in the EasiPark parking management business, EasiHold (Pvt) Ltd, have finally reached an agreement that will see the city forking out $274 000 as part of the deal for the two parties to sever relations.
The deal with EasiHold had irretrievably broken down, with each party accusing the other of clandestinely opening bank accounts to divert funds.
According to a settlement agreement entered between City of Harare and EasiHold, the joint venture would be dissolved with effect from the satisfaction of all conditions and obligations set out in the agreement.
Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube represented council while EasiHold was represented by Mr Damian Naicken and Mr Richard Mynhardt.
“Immediately upon signature, EasiHold shall be entitled to repatriate the parking equipment to a country of their choice and it shall be its sole responsibility to clear and export the said parking equipment.
“The City of Harare will, if requested by EasiHold, provide confirmation of the existence of this agreement in order to facilitate the exportation of the parking equipment.
City of Harare will pay into EasiHold’s nominated South African bank account, an amount of $274 000 representing EasiHold’s interest in the joint venture business, subject to exchange control approval which will be sought by EasiHold, if required,” reads part of the agreement.
The city will take steps to change the name of Easipark Harare so that it no longer contains the word “Easipark”.
EasiHold agreed to sign all necessary documentation to transfer its 40 percent shareholding in EasiPark to City of Harare.
The South African company also agreed to abandon its monetary claims against the city and claim for license fees in respect of the equipment.
“EasiHold will at the same time assist the City of Harare and Easipark Harare with information where possible, to resolve its employment disputes.
“No failure to exercise or delay in exercising any right or remedy provided under this agreement or by law constitutes a waiver of such right or remedy shall prevent any future exercise in all or part in thereof,” read the agreement.
Harare terminated the deal with Easi-Hold claiming it was not getting mileage out of it.
EasiHold claimed the city unlawfully opened an alternative bank account and diverted funds from EasiPark Harare while the city said EasiHold assigned its rights in the joint venture to a company called Servest without disclosure to and consent of City of Harare in breach of the joint venture agreement.
It also accused EasiHold of transferring money from EasiPark Harare to fund its new parking business venture in Nigeria.
According to their contract, EasiHold was supposed to procure, install and maintain — at its own cost — parking meters but the city accuses the company of hiring the equipment from a South African company with the hire charges being paid by EasiPark Harare.
During arbitration of their dispute, it was agreed that each shareholder would meet its own costs, but the City of Harare said it had evidence that EasiHold’s arbitration fees were paid by Easi-Park Harare.