FORMER Special assistant to the president for political affairs Kaizer Zulu has asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss the matter where a driver of Lyndhurst School Joe Tembo has sued him demanding K3,054,000 as damages for assault for being irregular.
He argued that the K2,500,000 as compensation for pain being sought by Tembo is irregular as it offends the rules of court governing settling of pleadings.
Zulu had assaulted Tembo in November 2019 after their vehicles collided in Lusaka’s Ibex hill while he was picking up school children.
Tembo is demanding K554,000 as special damages, and K2,500,000 as compensation for pain.
He is also seeking damages for torture, anguish and embarrassment resulting from the assault and battery caused by Zulu and interest on all sums, costs and any other reliefs that the court might deem fit.
In his statement of claim, Tembo said that on November 19, 2019 whilst he was driving a Toyota Hiace bus picking up school children in Ibex Hill, Zulu’s vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, rammed into the bus he was driving and later ended up into a drainage on Twin Palm road.
He said that on his way to second street in Ibex Hill, he was about to turn into Avic road and did indicate to motorists who were following him that he was about to turn and waited for an oncoming vehicle to pass.
“When the oncoming vehicle drove past the plaintiff’s bus, the plaintiff started turning into Avic Road and whilst turning, he heard a loud bang on the bus he was driving and he saw a Toyota Land Cruiser which hit the bus in the drainage along Twin Palm road,” Tembo said.
The victim narrated that when he got off the vehicle to check if everyone was okay, he saw Zulu, who was seated in the drivers seat and on a phone call, raise his thumb signaling him that he was okay.
Tembo said that 20 minutes later, he saw two motor vehicles which were occupied by huge men, who arrived at the accident scene and Zulu came out of his vehicle.
He said Zulu asked the onlookers at the scene who the driver of the bus was and when Tembo told him that he was the driver of the school bus, Zulu brandished a gun and pointed it at him and ordered his allies who arrived at the scene to beat him up on the premise that he wanted to cause his (Zulu) death.
Tembo said that Zulu ordered the thugs to rough him up and clobber him.
He said some military personnel arrived at the scene and questioned why he (Tembo) was being lynched but Zulu showed them their ID and they drove away.
The driver stated that the cadres continued beating him up and Zulu kicked him on the chin and he bled from his nose and mouth after which he collapsed and became unconscious and was only awaken by a doctor at University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
However, Zulu in his skeleton arguments in support of summons to set aside writ of summons and statement of claim for irregularity, stated that the alleged cause of action emanates from the claim of tortuous liability (compensation for injury) which was not contractual to trigger monetary compensation.
Zulu said a fixed sum must be certain when pleaded and Tembo had listed fixed amounts for compensation for pain, which clearly offends the rules of settling pleadings.
He wondered how Tenbo arrived at K2,500,000 as compensation for pain when the same could not be ascertained as a mere matter of arithmetic.
Zulu said that the claim falls short of the rules on settling pleadings and should be set aside for irregularity.
“The plaintiff cannot claim for liquidated sums for compensation for alleged pain as suffered as a result of a tortious claim. The pleadings herein clearly offends the rules of settling pleadings therefore the writ of summons and statement of claim ought to be set aside for irregularity,” said Zulu. “The defendant is equally praying for costs incidental to the application herein and the same to be paid before the plaintiff takes any further steps to remedy his grave error.”
And in a related matter where Zulu, Mpange Kachingwe, Raffiq Rashid, Bella Mwanza, Chita Lodge limited and the attorney general have been sued by four Lusaka residents Bernard Nshindo, Sengelewayo Jere, Saul Masikoti and Mason Mweemba for kidnapping and assault, the plaintiffs say they will prove their claims against Zulu and his allies.
In the reply to the defendants’ defence, the quartet said they would demonstrate that Zulu and his co-defendants do not have a defense on merit whatsoever./SM