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Court stops Prof Luo from selling seized property

HIGH Court judge Mwaka Mikalile has stopped Professor Nkandu Luo from selling property that she seized from a client.

The former agriculture and livestock minister had confiscated property from Robust Trailers and Bodies Limited in order to recover K113,700 Tasinta rental arrears.

Judge Mikalile warned Prof Luo against disobeying the court order which would result in her going to prison.

This is according to an ex-parte order for an interim injunction granted to Robust Trailers.

“Upon hearing counsel for the applicant, and upon reading the affidavit in support of exparte summons for an order of interim injunction deposed by Christmas Ngoma, it is hereby ordered that an order of interim injunction be and is hereby granted,” said judge Mikalile.

According to the penal notice prof. Luo, her servants or agents shall be liable to committal proceedings for contempt if they disobey the order.

Prof Luo will be indemnified by Robust Trailers for any loss and expenses that she may incur as a consequence of the order, should the court later rule otherwise.

In this matter, Robust Trailers and Bodies Limited has sued Prof Nkandu Luo as the chairperson for Tasinta Programme Board for seizing its property on disputed rental arrears amounting to K113,700.

In an affidavit in support of originating notice of motion, Ngoma who is 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 three 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 sometime 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 added. “On January 11, 2021, 67,500 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 said Prof Luo caused disruption in the supply of electricity which also disturbed 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.

According to him, Tasintha also ordered that Robust Trailers vacated the premise with immediate effect, and to its shock on September 21, 2021 a warrant of distress was issued.

Ngoma contended that the money being claimed by Tasinta was incorrect as the outstanding amount was 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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