Avarmma Mining Company Limited has told the Lusaka High Court that Lusaka lawyer Tutwa Ngulube and his law firm are not entitled to any of the reliefs they are seeking because it has not failed to meet its obligations to pay its debt.
The Kabwe based mining company has therefore asked the court to throw out the petition in which Ngulube’s law firm is seeking an order that the mining company be wound-up for failing to pay over $400,000 in legal fees owed to the law firm and for failing to pay its creditors since last year.
Avarmma Mining Company Limited has further argued that the law firm’s efforts to recover the amount owed were premature as the conditions for payment agreed upon by all parties had not been met.
In this matter, Ngulube’s law firm has petitioned the Lusaka High Court to wind-up Avarmma Mining Company, claiming that it owes the law firm over $400,000 in legal fees and has been unable to pay its creditors since last year.
Tutwa Ngulube and Company in its winding up petition cited Avarmma Mining Company limited, Topfat Gold mining limited and Zantra Holding limited as respondents.
It stated that since 2018, the respondents had been unable to meet their obligations to pay their debt to their creditors including legal fees owed to it and that the companies were currently indebted to it in the sum of US$425,000 in Legal fees including interest and costs.
Tutwa Ngulube and Company stated that it had on several occasions demanded payment of the money owed to it but the respondents did not have sufficient cash flow and working capital to enable them to pay their debts as and when they fell due.
It further stated that the mining companies had not made any attempts to settle their indebtedness to the law firm adding that it was just and equitable that they be wound up.
But in its answer to the petition, Avarmma Mining argued that Tutwa Ngulube and company was not entitled to any reliefs sought as the mining company had not failed to meet its obligations to pay its debt.
It further argued that the law firm’s efforts to recover the amount owed were premature as the conditions for payment agreed upon by all parties had not been met and that the law firm had been reminded several times.
“The first respondent (Avarmma Mining Company Limited) will aver that it’s indebtedness to the petitioner (Tutwa Ngulube and company) is pursuant to a consent judgment of the High Court dated December 29, 2017 and will show that while the terms of the consent judgement obligate the first respondent to pay the sum of USD 500,000.00 to the petitioner, the terms of payment agreed upon by both parties specifically state that the petitioner will receive the balance of USD425, 000.00 only after such time as the Katokamena Mine in Kasempa District begins operation by the first respondent,” Avarmma Mining Company stated.
It stated that it had not yet begun operations at Katokamena Mine, adding that the balance of costs due to the law firm were not due to be paid until the case according to the terms signed and selected by both parties.
Avarmma Mining Company stated that it was committed to begin operations at the mine and that it was currently awaiting a decision by the Ministry of Mines to approve the application for an exploration license over the Katokamena area.
“The statement by the petitioner that Avarmma Mining Company has insufficient cash flows and working capital to enable it pay its debts is false, as the sum claimed by the petitioner is not due and payable, pursuant to the terms of the consent judgement and the position was communicated to the law firm by the mines advocates by a letter dated May 16,2019,” it stated.
It asked the court to dismiss the petition with costs.