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Erroneous debit lands Vodacom in court

M-PESA Subscriber Francis Mosha has sued Vodacom Tanzania Public Limited Company, demanding over 26m/- in damages for allegedly erroneously debiting his account on two different occasions.

The suit has been filed at Kinondoni District Court in Dar es Salaam and has been set for mention before Resident Magistrate Happy Kikoga on April 21, 2021.

Mr Mosha, the plaintiff, claims for payment of 6,496,320/-, being specific damages he suffered as a result of alleged negligence by Vodacom, the defendant.

He is also pushing for payment of 20m/- as general damages.

In its written statement of defence, however, the defendant has vehemently denied the claims and, in addition, raised a ground of objection, seeking dismissal of the suit for having no merits and, alternatively, the court lacking jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

The plaintiff alleges that on January 8, 2020, his account was, for unknown reasons, debited the sum of 20,000/- to be an overdraft repayment to M-Pesa.

According to the plaint of the suit, a similar situation happened on the following day when 9,136/- was debited from his account.

He claims to have immediately made efforts by contacting the defendant’s customer service hotline number for clarification and was informed that the problem would be resolved.

To his surprise, the plaintiff alleges that more than three months elapsed without any concrete initiatives from defendant.

Due to the defendant’s negligence or failure to act promptly on his concern within prescribed statutory period of 30 days, the plaintiff was compelled to engage an advocate, who issued a demand notice.

Notwithstanding such notice, the defendant’s reply allegedly was evasive and not satisfactory. The plaintiff had no other option than filing the suit in question.

In his defence, however, apart from raising the ground of objection, the defendant has noted some of the facts stated in the plaint of the suit, but also disputed others and has put the plaintiff to strictly prove the same.

He states that indeed on January 8 and 9, 2020, the plaintiff’s M-Pesa account was charged the 20,000/- and 9,136/-, respectively, and upon reconciliation it was decided that the amount charged should be refunded on the basis that the charges were due to technical errors.

The defendant stated in the defence that the charged amount was refunded on April 3, 2020.

He maintained that the issue of charging the plaintiff was dealt with in accordance with the M-Pesa Overdraft Terms and Conditions.

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