Abdul Suppliers and General Dealers and its Managing Director Abdul Uwayezu have sued Zambia Sugar Company in the Lusaka High Court claiming damages for false imprisonment and loss of business after the company accused them of selling counterfeit sugar.
They stated that as a result of Zambia Sugar’s actions, the company has suffered great humiliation and loss of reputation because they were labelled as a company that sells counterfeit goods in the media.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court last week, the plaintiffs stated that they were general traders engaged in buying and reselling goods and commodities, sugar being among them.
They stated that some time on May 1, 2018, they purchased 1Kg bales of sugar from Paza Trading Company Limited, an agent of Zambia Sugar, for purpose of resale.
The plaintiffs disclosed that on June 4, 2018, they were visited in their shop around City Market area by agents and workers of Zambia Sugar, who were accompanied by police officers, claiming that the plaintiffs were selling counterfeit sugar products of Zambia Sugar.
They added that when they tried to explain that they had in fact purchased the purported counterfeit sugar from Paza Trading Company, the explanation fell on deaf ears.
“The agents and workers of the defendant instructed the police officers to seize from his shop, 15 bakes of 1Kg sugar on the pretext that the same were counterfeit. The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that they tried to explain that they had in fact purchased the purportedly counterfeit sugar from Paza Trading Company, but the explanation fell on deaf ears,” read the statement of claim.
They stated that Uwayezu was later detained by the police and falsely imprisoned for two days and was only released without being charged on the third day under the instructions of Zambia Sugar.
The plaintiffs lamented that as a result of the actions of Zambia Sugar, the company was labelled as a company that sells counterfeit goods in the media.
They stated that after the police had concluded their investigations, they informed an officer of Zambia Sugar that the sugar was in fact not counterfeit and was purchased from Paza Trading Company.
The plaintiffs stated that the sugar was, however, returned without so much as an apology rendered in the press by the defendant.
They stated that as the result of Zambia Sugar’s actions, they had suffered great humiliation and loss of reputation in both general business and among customers
They now claim for damages for false imprisonment, loss of business, unlawful detention of goods, exemplary and aggravated damages, interest on all amounts found due at the current bank lending rate, costs and any other relief the court may deem fit.