Set aside High Court judgement, Mmembe and Nchito

SHAREHOLDERS in the defunct Zambian Airways have asked the Supreme Court to set aside the High Court’s judgement which ordered them to pay the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) KR14 million (K14 billion).
But lawyer representing DBZ Buta Gondwe says the Supreme Court should uphold High Court judge Nigel Mutuna’s judgement because he was on firm ground when he ordered the shareholders to pay K14 billion.

JCN Holdings, The Post Newspapers and Mutembo Nchito, through their lawyers said their appeal against Justice Mutuna’s judgement should be allowed because it has merit.
Mr Nchito, who is also Director of Public Prosecutions, said there is no need for DBZ to convert the loan to shares because the transaction was concluded.
The Post Newspapers Limited, Mr Nchito and JCN Holdings have been in court with DBZ over K14 billion which the bank is claiming, arising from a loan.
“The appeal must succeed in the interest of justice. There was no conversion of a loan into shares, the intentions might have been there but it was not done,” he said.
Mr Nchito said if Mr Justice Mutuna was relying on evidence before him, he was supposed to note that the transaction was engaged into by DBZ and the shareholders of the airline.
He said DBZ’s attempt to turn the share payback guarantee into a loan payback guarantee is not tenable at law.
Mr Nchito said Mr Justice Mutuna should have interpreted the documents before him, which is the share payback guarantee and not the loan payback guarantee.
He said what is left now is that DBZ is the creditor to Zambian Airways.
Another lawyer Nchima Nchito said Justice Mutuna did not consider all the evidence when passing the verdict.
Mr Nchito said Mr Mutuna allegedly “created a case of his own” which was not supported by evidence and his judgement cannot stand.
And Mr Gondwe said there was an undertaking by the shareholders to repay the loan facility to DBZ, otherwise it would be converted into a debt in the event that the shareholder agreement is not executed.
He said it will not be right to argue that there was no shareholder agreement.
Mr Gondwe said DBZ had done all it was required to do under the loan facility of converting the debt to equity.
Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, sitting with Supreme Court judge Hilda Chibomba, and Elizabeth Muyovwe, has adjourned the matter to a later date.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

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