The five Lusaka bus drivers who recently sued an alleged illegal committee comprising nine PF cadres based at City Market for illegally collecting levy from them, have applied for leave to issue contempt proceedings against the cadres for stopping them from operating at the station.

On April 12, this year, the Lusaka High Court granted the five an injunction, restraining the nine PF cadres from chasing them from operating in the bus station, harassing, threatening or illegally collecting levy from them until the final determination of the matter.

In this matter, Chrispine Phiri, Gibson Sibanda, Isaac Maziba, Moses Bwalya and Simon Phiri have sued William Mutonga, Peter Tembo, Samson Banda, Fransisco Kwaya, Masauso Zulu, John Chirwa, Godfrey Mulenga, Provey Kamananga and James Phiri, seeking payment of over K800,000 which was collected from them as contribution for the past two years after loading buses.

They are further seeking for an order declaring that the defendants conduct of collecting levy from them was illegal, null and void because only the local authority can collect levy in bus stations.

But in an affidavit of ex-parte summons for leave to issue contempt proceedings, filed in the Lusaka High yesterday, Phiri who is the first plaintiff, stated that the cadres had continued to frustrate and chase them out of the City Market bus station.

He added that the PF cadres had also vowed not to allow them to operate from the station stating that they also have powers.

Phiri further stated that the cadres non adherence of the court’s order of interim-injunction was a very serious offence.

He lamented that their livelihood as bus drivers, lied in the work they do, as such the continued harassment was a violation of their human rights and much needed income.

“That the Order of Interim Injunction has a penal clause which strictly restrains the defendant from harassing, threatening of illegally collecting levy from the plaintiffs and if gone against, there will be contempt proceedings to be taken out against the offenders. That the defendants have continued to frustrate and chase the plaintiffs out of City Market bus station. The plaintiffs have vowed not to allow us to operate there stating that they also have powers and that we can go anywhere,” read the affidavit.

The five bus drivers had stated in a statement of claim recently, that two years ago, the defendants set up an illegal committee comprising ruling Patriotic Front cadres at City Market, Zingalume route, to collect levy from them.

The plaintiffs claimed that the said committee collected a sum of K45 per trip with an average of six trips per day from them, on an understanding that each of them would be getting monies once per month from the said contributions.

They however added that they had not benefited from the said money.

The plaintiffs stated that they seek to be refunded K826,200 because they had not benefited from the said contributions made to the illegal committee for the past two years.

They added that the defendants had given no indication when the outstanding amount due would be paid, which eventually had resulted in financial losses on their part.

The plaintiffs are now claiming, among other things, payment of K826,200 paid to the defendants’ illegal committee and an order declaring that the defendants conduct of collecting levy was illegal, null and void as it is only the local authority with the mandate to collect levy in bus stations and not the defendants.