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Robust Trailers and Bodies sue Prof Luo over ‘Tasinta’ rentals

ROBUST Trailers and Bodies limited has sued Professor Nkandu Luo as the chairperson for Tasinta Programme Board in the Lusaka High Court for seizing its property on disputed rental arrears amounting to K113,700.

In an affidavit in support of originating notice of motion, Christmas Ngoma, managing director at Robust Trailers, said on December 1, 2011, the company and Prof. Luo entered into a lease agreement in relation to stand no 1638/2716 Malambo Road, Lusaka at an agreed rent of K15,000 per month, payable tree months in advance for a period of five years.

Ngoma said on October 14, 2020. Prof. Luo wrote a letter indicating that Tasinta was signing up new tenants and frustrated the lease agreement.

He said some time in November 2020, the workshop was flooded because part of the roof was ripped and was not fixed by Prof. Luo despite being aware.

“An intimation was made to Prof. Luo that the premises was not ideal for the company’s business operation and amenable to the exorbitant increase in monthly rent of K25,000 from K15,000,” Ngoma stated.

“On January 11, 2021, K67,500 was paid through a bank transfer. However, on January 26, 2021, a notice of vacation was issued by Prof. Luo indicating that we owe an outstanding amount of K113,700. On July 1, 2021, a further payment of K67,500 was paid through a bank transfer.”

Ngoma stated that Prof. Luo caused disruption in the supply of electricity which disrupted the business operation.

He said on September 8, 2021, Tasinta, through its advocates Messrs Simeza Sangwa and Associates, demanded payment for the outstanding K113,700 and ordered that Robust Trailers vacates the premise with immediate effect and to its shock on September 21, 2021, a warrant of distress was issued.

Ngoma contends that the money being claimed by Tasinta is incorrect as the outstanding amount is K46,000.

“According to clause 4(1) of the lease agreement, it was agreed by the parties that if any dispute arose, it shall be referred to arbitration. If a stay is not granted it shall render the arbitration process an academic exercise,” said Ngoma.

Robust Trailers is seeking an order for the stay of sale of goods seized in distress pending arbitration.

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