Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited has asked the Lusaka High Court to strike out a case in which Savenda Management Services Limited has sued it seeking an order for immediate payment of over K7.6 million balance for being an abuse of Court process.
Stanbic Bank Zambia has submitted that the originating process is an abuse of court process as it is anchored on a cause of action that has already been litigated upon, rendering the action scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.
In this matter, Savenda Management Services Limited has sued Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited seeking an order for immediate payment of the balance of over K7.6 million.
Savenda is also seeking an order for damages of breach of contract, interest, costs and any other relief that the Court may deem fit.
It had stated in a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court Commercial Registry on August 28, that on or about February 13, 2014, it commenced proceedings against Stanbic Bank Zambia under cause no. 2014/HPC/0076, by way of writ of summons and statement of claim.
It further stated that it claimed for K192,500,000.00 damages for loss of business, an order that Savenda be immediately de-listed from the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), damages for negligence, damages for injury to business reputation, costs and any other relief.
Savenda stated that on or about August 17, 2016, judgement was delivered in its favour and the court found that Savenda had proven its case on a balance of probability and was entitled to all the reliefs sought.
“Savenda levied execution against the goods of Stanbic Bank by Writ of Fieri Facias and the court bailiffs seized the bank’s goods as may be sufficient to realize the judgement debt and any related expenses. On or about September 21, 2016, Stanbic Bank negotiated with Savenda’s lawyers at the time, to stop the execution and entered into an agreement for the following: K9.625 million was to be paid towards the judgement sum inclusive of legal costs, the sheriff’s fees was to be paid and the process of de-listing Savenda from the CRB was to begin,” read the statement of claim.
“Relying upon Stanbic’s undertaking mentioned above and Stanbic having paid K2 million towards the agreed K9.265 million, Savenda instructed the Sheriff to stop the execution.”
Savenda stated that in breach of the agreement, Stanbic had failed to make the contractual payments when they fell due.
It further added that Stanbic had made demands to be repaid K2 million and to be repaid the Sheriff’s fees when they had already enjoyed the benefit, which accrued once the execution was stopped.
Savenda lamented that in consequence of the failure by Stanbic to make the payments when they fell due, it had suffered loss and damages.
But according to summons to strike out pleadings for abuse of court process filed in the Lusaka High Court Commercial Registry filed by Stanbic Zambia Limited lawyers, Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners, recently, the bank stated that the originating process filed by Savenda was irregular.
It added that this was so because the originating process offends the provisions of Order 18, Rule 19, sub Rule 34 of the Supreme Court (White Book) 1965, Volume 1, 1999 edition, which bar re-litigation of a matter that had been successfully determined to finality by a court of competent jurisdiction rendering the same to be abuse of the court process and a contravention of the principle of res judicata.
“The purported originating process is an abuse of the court process as it is anchored on a cause of action, which is an incident of multiplicity of actions as there are an ongoing court proceedings in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Zambia under cause numbers 2014/HPC/0076, 2016/CAZ/08/40 and SCZ/08/014/2017,” Stanbic Bank Zambia stated.
“The originating process filed, herein, is an abuse of court process as it is anchored on a cause of action that has already been litigated upon rendering the action scandalous, frivolous and vexatious and offensive to the provisions of Order 18, Rule 19, sub Rule 15 and Sub Rule 16 of the Supreme Court (White Book) 1965, Volume 1, 1999 edition.”
The bank stated that, consequently, the purported originating process was irregular and must be dismissed and costs of and incidental to the proceedings be borne by Savenda in any event.