The Lusaka High Court has granted Power Media Limited leave to serve court process out of jurisdiction in a matter it has sued South African company DSTV Media Sales, demanding payment of US$10 million as damages for loss of business opportunities.

“Upon hearing Counsel for the plaintiff and upon reading the affidavit filed herein, the plaintiff is hereby granted leave to serve court process out of jurisdiction (the Republic of South Africa),” read the order signed by the deputy registrar of the High Court on February 4.

In this matter, Power Media Limited and its Chief Executive Officer Luckie Chiyowele have sued DSTV Media Sales in the Lusaka High Court, claiming US$10 million as damages for loss of business opportunities, US$2,000 as damages for defamation of character and reputational damage of Chiyowele, as well as damages for breach of contract.

According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court on October 14, last year, the plaintiffs stated that their registered office was in Lusaka’s New Kasama, whereas DSTV Media Sales was a company incorporated in South Africa and had its registered office at Multichoice City 144, Bram Fischer Drive Randburg, Gauteng 2194.

They stated that on June 19, 2017, DSTV Media Sales contracted them to act as an agent to source advertising clients in Zambia and outside.

The plaintiffs stated that under this contract, Power Media Limited was to receive 20 per cent commission on any business generated through them.

They further stated that in April, 2017, Power Media Limited through Chiyowele introduced to DSTV Media Sales a firm known as Promasidor, who agreed to pay a sponsorship sum of US$50,000 to DSTV Media Sales to sponsor the Mnet’s Zambezi Magic aired talent show ‘Dreams’.

Power Media Limited and Chiyowele added that Promasidor’s adverts were to be flighted in the ‘Dreams’ show between November 2017 and March 2018.

They, however, stated that DSTV Media Sales failed to air the adverts in ‘Dreams’ for Promasidor as per contract throughout the duration of the show without giving Power Media Limited and their client, Promasidor, an explanation.

Power Media Limited and Chiyowele lamented that this made their client to reduce the sponsorship sum from US$50,000 to US$ 5,000 but DSTV Media Sales collected the full payment of US$50,000 even after having being aware of the payment reduction by Promasidor.

“Therefore, because of the above, DSTV Media Sales owes Power Media Limited USD15,000,” read the statement of claim.

The plaintiffs stated that Power Media was advised by their client, Promasidor, that DSTV Media Sales had been having meetings with them and blaming Power Media for the non-airing of its adverts in efforts to tarnish the company’s business relationship with their client.

They added that further, DSTV Media Sales asked Promasidor to book directly with them going forward.

The plaintiffs further stated that DSTV Media Sales, through their media sales team, embarked on a deliberate disparaging campaign against them by making false and malicious statements to Promasidor and their other client Zamtel through meetings, to the effect that the company’s representative, Chiyowele, was not known to them and therefore not an agent tasked to source advertising clients on DSTV Media Sales’ behalf.

They lamented that as a result of that, they had been seriously injured in their reputation and had suffered considerable distress.