FORMER Western Province minister Richard Mwapela has sued Mpezeni, the paramount chief of the Ngonis, in the Lusaka High Court claiming payment of US$127,000 meant for the purchase of Mukula tree.
According to a statement of claim filed in the principal registry, Mwapela, who is a businessman and politician, also cited Mathias Puta and Danny Mwanza as second and third respondents in the matter.
Puta and Mwanza were introduced to him as Mpezeni’s nephews.
Mwapela stated that chief Mpezeni – whose name is Davison Jere – had told him that he sells Mukula logs and that he had a license to transport and export the commodity.
He submitted that he agreed to buy the Mukula logs from Mpezeni based on the assurance that the latter had a license.
Mwapela also stated that he paid the paramount chief US$87,000 in the presence of
Puta, who counted the money and that he (Mwapela) witnessed chief Mpezeni giving Puta a share.
He indicated further that he paid the third defendant, Mwanza, US$40,000 for a contract to transport the Mukula logs.
Mwapela stated that later after making full payment and after loading the trucks with the said Mukula logs, Mpezeni informed him that he did not have a license to sell and export the commodity.
“After trying several times to get the first defendant to secure a license, the plaintiff only heard after more than one month that the first defendant had sold the same Mukula logs to someone else,” he added.
Mwapela also stated that he had repeatedly demanded his refund from the defendants but that they had refused to do so, causing him loss, damage and inconvenience./SM/JC