MMD president Nevers Mumba has repaid the US $70,000 loan to Lusaka resident Oliver Scott who claims to have paid the former the said money for the purchase of land in Ibex Hill but the transfer of the property was not completed.
This is according to a notice of payment into court filed by Dr Mumba.
“Take notice that the defendant in these proceedings paid into court the sum of US $70,000 the kwacha equivalent of which is K1,494,458 as at February 12, 2021 by way of bank transfer into the High Court clients account number 0060417125017 held at Atlas Mara Limited, Longacres branch,” the notice reads. “The transaction reference number is OT2143ZM014582 (copy of proof of payment is attached.) The payment is with regard to the plaintiff’s claim hence the plaintiff is at liberty to withdraw the kwacha equivalent of the sum paid into court only on condition that it is accepted as full and final settlement of the claim.”
This is in a matter where Mumba has been sued by Scott in the Lusaka High Court for failing to complete the transfer of land which was allegedly sold to him at $70,000.
Scott is seeking an order for specific performance of the contract of sale dated September 6, 2018 being the transfer, assignment and that Mumba vacates possession of property LUS/38497 in Ibex Hill, Lusaka.
In his statement of claim Scott said Mumba was a registered owner of property known LUS/38497 and in 2018, he entered into an agreement with Mumba for the sale of the property at the purchase price of $70,000.
He said a contract of sale and assignment were accordingly executed between the parties upon full payment of $70,000 which was paid to Mumba.
Scott explained that by virtue of the said contract of sale, the fixed date for obtaining the State’s consent to assign was two weeks from date of exchange of contracts.
He said it was further agreed that the completion of the sale of the said property was within four weeks of exchange of contracts and that Mumba would have an option to repurchase the said property within 60 days from the date of execution of the contract of sale.
Scott contended that it is now over two years since he bought the property but Mumba has to date failed to complete and transfer the said property to him despite numerous reminders.
However, in his defence Mumba denied selling any piece of land to Scott claiming that the latter attempted to defraud him of his property when he refused to pay un-agreed interest on a loan facility.
Mumba explained that Scott lent him huge sums of money in January 2018 as per handwritten loan agreement.
He said to secure the repayment of the said money Scott always requested him to sign a “dummy” contract for the value of the amount borrowed and interest.
Mumba said the current amount which is the subject of claim was $40,000 of which the agreed interest was to be $30,000 making the total repayment to $70,000 which was stated in the contract as a guarantee to Scott of the money he would pay back.
He said the $70,000 that Scott is now claiming he had paid as the purchase price for the land is false as the latter is deliberately lying and misleading the court in relation to the contractual terms.
Mumba said Scott never paid him $70,000 as the purchase price for his property.
“The plaintiff has been claiming exorbitant amounts of interest and asked the defendant to pay more than US $400,000 with exorbitant interest of the borrowed sum of US $40,000. This amount was later reduced to US $155,000 by the plaintiff who demanded this sum through a letter written by his lawyers dated March 17, 2020. This amount was still unreasonable because the plaintiff was still asking the defendant to pay more than twice what had originally been agreed,” Mumba said.
He said he refused to pay Scott the amount and insisted that he owed the agreed sum of $70,000 which consisted of the the principal sum plus interest.
Mumba said he has on several occasions since 2019 requested for Scott’s banking details so that he can pay the money but the plaintiff has refused to provide the same.
He claimed that Scott attempted to lodge the contract at the Ministry of Lands and was trying to change ownership of his property in Ibex Hill into his own name without following procedure and the same was reported to relevant authorities.
Mumba denied authorising Mweemba Chashi and partners to obtain the state’s consent to assign property but Scott illegally processed the same without his approval.
“The defendant is ready and willing to immediately pay US $70,000 owed to the plaintiff but the plaintiff has been refusing to receive the money and is now using this claim to try and extort more money from the defendant by taking his property which is valued for more than the US $70,000 that the plaintiff is claiming was the purchase price,” Mumba said.
He indicated that he will pay the money in court.
The MMD leader is counterclaiming a declaration that the purported documentation for sale of his land are null and void.
He wants an order that the attempts by the plaintiff to arm-twist him into paying more than the agreed date repayment of $70,000 and attempts to enforce the purported contract of sale as a way of getting the defendant to do what the plaintiff wishes is extortion and fraud.
He wants an order compelling Scott to accept payment of the money and an order preventing him from charging penalty and compound interest.
Mumba further wants a permanent injunction stopping Scott and his agents from purporting to have bought his land and lodging any documents concerning the same at Ministry of Lands or in any way interfering with ownership of the property and his quiet enjoyment.