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Hotelier drags MP Chabinga to court over K62,530 hotel bill

MAFINGA PF member of parliament Robert Chabinga has been taken to court by Mapalo Lodge “the hotel” for non-payment of hospitality services amounting to K62,530 which he accrued five years ago.

Hotel manager Noah Mutoti has lodged a complaint against Chabinga before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court for leaving a hotel without clearing his bills.

According to the complaint, Mutoti said between March 14, 2016 and June 30, 2016, Chabinga requested and received hospitality services at the said hotel located in Lusaka’s Chudleigh area, for food beverages and lodging and accumulated a bill of K62,530.

He said after checking out of the hotel on June 30, 2016, the former Post newspaper liquidation manager purported to make a payment of K52,000 by issuing cheque no.000054 at Barclays Bank account no.0000001008495 and the said cheque was dishonoured by the bank due to insufficient funds.

Mutoti said out of courtesy, he attempted to resolve the matter with Chabinga amicably but all attempts to have him settle the bill have proved futile as he had been elusive and the bill remains unpaid to date.

“I made a complaint to the Zambia Police Service regarding the bounced check and when Chabinga was summoned to the police to answer to my complaint, he did not respond personally, but engaged a purported Zambia Police Service official to appear on his behalf, an act smacking of misconduct and irregularity on the part of the police service official,” Mutoti said. “The accused’s act of leaving a hotel without paying the bill or making arrangements with the hotel-keeper, or his agents or servant that the bill may be left in abeyance is contrary to section 24 of the hotels Act and constitutes a criminal offence.”

The hotel manager further stated that Chabinga’s act of issuing a cheque wilfully, dishonestly or with intent to defraud on an insufficiently funded account was contrary to section 33(1) of the national payment systems Act no.1 of 2007 of the Zambian laws and constitutes an offence.

The newly elected lawmaker also has two pending similar cases before the High Court for non-payment of rentals. Two female Lusaka residents of PHI and Ibex Hill are demanding thousands of dollars from the elusive Chabinga for rental arrears.

He is expected to take plea before magistrate Faidess Hamaundu.

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