Mutembo, M’membe back in court over K14m DBZ loan

GUTA Gondwe, the lawyer representing Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) in the K14 million loan case was yesterday taken to task by Lusaka High Court Judge Justin Chashi after he observed that there was no amendment to the writ of summons when the lawyer had made the necessary amendment to the statement of claim.

Mr Gondwe had difficulties to justify why he wanted the matter to proceed in the absence of the amended writ of summons which Justice Chashi emphasized was a critical component to the commencement of the case.

Mr Gondwe admitted that it was an oversight on his part to have ignored to make amendments to the writ of summons but insisted that the proceeding could continue to which Justice Chashi strongly objected and ordered that the DBZ lawyer should cause to amend the writ of summons and file them in court on the same day.

The K14 million Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan case involving JNC Holdings, the Post Newspaper, Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe is back in the High Court for the first time after it was referred to the lower court by the Supreme Court for retrial in December 2013.

The matter was however forced to adjourn after the lawyers to DBZ and JNC, the Post Newspaper, Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe made a consent agreement to amend the statements by witnesses so that they could refer to the bundles of documents before the court.

Mr Gondwe submitted that in light of what had been observed by Judge Chashi to amend the writ of summons, he along with Mr Mutembo Nchito and his brother Nchima should be allowed by the court to apply for an adjournment so that they could make amendments to the statements.

Mr Gondwe, who struggled to sound convincing why the matter could go ahead without the writ of summons, submitted that he had agreed with the defence that the matter could proceed without the writ of summons to which Judge Chashi strongly objected, stating that the writ was the main thrust of the case.

DBZ is expected to call two witnesses in this matter who are Ms Beyani and Mr Andrew Musukwa and Justice Chashi said the parties had been allowed to have their witnesses to refer to the proceedings of the previous hearings in the same matter.

“We are starting the case of the Development Bank of Zambia K14 billion loan involving JNC Holdings, Post Newspaper, Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe denovo and the parties will be allowed to have their witnesses refer to the bundles of documents before the court. But my difficulty is that there was an amendment to the statement of claim by the appellant and I wonder if there was a corresponding amendment to the writ of summons. We are not going to proceed with the matter and I order that the appellant should amend the writ of summons and file them in court today (yesterday),” Judge Chashi said.

Mr Mutembo Nchito and his brother Nchima were allowed to confer when they would be able to file the amended statements from witnesses and they consented that they would be able to file their amendments by today.

 

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