Zim's Russian Embassy Not Paying Rent, Faces Eviction

In a summons in the high court recently, James Brennan accused the Russian embassy of failing to pay rentals at a residential property he has been leasing to the embassy since April last year.

Brennan claims that the embassy has defaulted on rental payments for three consecutive months and had refused to leave the Chisipite property in contravention of a lease agreement signed between the two parties.

The Russian embassy was supposed to vacate Brenna’s residential property in December after the expiration of the lease agreement but had refused to do so and continued to occupy the place without paying rentals.

Brenna said the embassy’s illegal actions had cost him $10 800 and $8 100 for the three months from January.

“The defendant has failed to vacate the leased premises and pay the arrear rentals for the month of October, November and December 2011 together with damages for holding over in respect of the month of January 2012 in the total sum of $10 800. As a result of the defendant’s continued occupation of the leased premises, the plaintiff continues to suffer damages in the sum of $2 700 per month, being the market rental at which the plaintiff would have been able to re-let the leased premises,” reads part of the court papers filed by Brennan.

President Robert Mugabe’s administration considers Russia as long time ally which supported the liberation war in the 70’s. Recently, the Zimbabwean government unsuccessfully attempted to shield the Zambian embassy from settling its mobile telecommunications bill with Econet after informing the telecoms operator’s lawyers that the embassy enjoys diplomatic immunity that saves its assts from being seized and auctioned to recover debt.