KAMUNDA Milling Limited has dragged Chimsoro Milling Company Limited to the Lusaka High Court, claiming K73,652 refund owed to it by the latter for ground rates, electricity and water bills.
Kamunda Milling Limited further wants an order that it does not owe Chimsoro Milling US$32,000.
It is also seeking an injunction to restrain Chimsoro Milling, its directors, officers, servants, agents or any of them from disposing of its property pending determination of the matter.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Kamunda Milling stated it was in the business of manufacturing grain mill products, a business that Chimsoro Milling was also involved in.
Kamunda Milling explained that it entered into a lease agreement with Chimsoro Milling on June 7, 2019 relating to plot number 2258 on Great North Road, Kapiri Mposhi at a monthly rental of US$6,022.
It stated that upon occupation of the same premises, it discovered that Chimsoro Milling Limited had not been paying the ground rates, electricity and water bills relating to the property.
Kamunda Milling stated that payment of the ground rates, electricity and water bills was a contractual obligation of the defendant, Chimsoro Milling.
“Notwithstanding the forgoing, the plaintiff (Kamunda Milling) and the defendant (Chimsoro Milling) agreed that the plaintiff should settle the said ground rates, electricity and water bills on the premise that the amount paid would be netted from the rentals to be paid to the defendant,” read the claim.
Kamunda Milling stated that it settled the sum of K73,652 being ground rates, electricity and water bills, but added that in breach of the agreement, Chimsoro refused or neglected to net the said payments from the rentals paid by the former.
It claimed that despite numerous reminders and correspondence, Chimsoro Milling has willfully neglected or refused to pay the K73, 652.22.
“The plaintiff will further aver that due to unprecedented pandemic of the Coronavirus that the whole world is currently battling with, the Government of the Republic of Zambia took the step to close all bars in the country in late March, 2020,” read the claim further.
Kamunda Milling stated that the said step by government adversely affected its business as the majority of its produce was sold to brewers who used the same for alcohol production.
It stated that in light of the above, article 8 of the lease agreement was invoked, therefore, the said lease agreement and its requirement to pay rentals was negated.
Kamunda Milling, however, stated that Chimsoro erroneously issued a warrant of distress against it for the months of February to July amounting to US$32,000.
It further stated that in the light of the above, a bailiff erroneously executed the warrant of distress against it on July 10, 2020.
Kamunda Milling stated that a letter of demand dated July 15, 2020, was written to Chimsoro Milling to recover the outstanding amount and to advise them to discharge the erroneous warrant of distress.
It lamented that as a result of Chimsoro Milling’s actions, it has suffered loss, damage and inconvenience.
Kamunda Milling now wants the court declare that the warrant of distress dated July 8, 2020 be declared null and void, among other claims.