THE 59 people who have sued eight administrators of an online business for swindling them out of over K6.7 million have been granted permission by the Lusaka High Court to serve the court process on the defendants by advertising in the newspaper.
According to an ex-parte order signed by High Court Judge Matthew Zulu, the Court has granted the 59 leave to serve the writ of summons and statement of claim on the defendants by advertising in the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper and that the costs occasioned by the application shall be in the cause.
In this matter, 59 people have sued eight administrators of an online business called ‘MyZamfund Village Banking’ for allegedly swindling them of their investments and expected returns amounting to over K6.7 million.
Davies Musonda and 58 others have sued Prosper Sylva Ezeokah, a Nigerian national resident in Zambia, and Zambian nationals; Rodrick Musonda; Nelly Zimba; Luyando Dyololo; Joseph Mwaba; Joshua Chikonko; George Chishimba and Chilufya Mulolo as the defendants, who created and operated the said online business called ‘MyZamfund Village Banking.’
The 59, who are investors in the said online business, are seeking an order that the defendants pay them back the money in the sum K6,760,245, which was allegedly fraudulently collected from them.
They also want an order and declaration that the eight defendants’ conduct to illegally collect and withhold their money was extremely deceptive, fraudulent and that it deprived them of their legitimate revenue.
The 59 further want the Court to order the eight to render a complete account of all the business transactions and monies they fraudulently and dishonestly collected from them and an order that the defendants open the website and WhatsApp group to allow them to access their accounts.
The plaintiffs further want an order that the defendants surrender all the properties, motor vehicles, server and other gadgets, which were purchased through monies generated from them, among others.
They had previously applied to serve court process on the defendants via advertisement, stating that they had made all reasonable efforts to serve the writ of summons and statement of claim on the defendants, but they had not been able to do so as the eight defendants had all relocated to unknown locations.
The 59, therefore, asked the Court to grant them the application for leave to serve the writ of summons and statement of claim by substituted service by advertising twice in the Daily Mail newspaper.
The plaintiffs had stated in a statement of claim that sometime between July, 2019, and September, 2020, the defendants fraudulently created and operated or administered an online business called ‘MyZamfund Village Banking.’
They stated that the defendants advertised the business concept to them and assured them that the said business was an extremely good online village banking.
The plaintiffs stated that they joined the defendants’ said online business and invested different sums of money amounting to K6,760,245, adding that the said online village banking.
Each member of the group was required to deposit a certain amount of money through the aforementioned village.
The 59 stated that the defendants fraudulently misrepresented to them that after investing a certain amount of money, every investor would keep on receiving returns of 50 per cent of the investment every after 20 days, which period was fraudulently increased to 25 days and later 30 days.
“The defendants have since shut down the website and WhatsApp platforms, thereby blocking some of the investors from downloading their accounts and evidence. The plaintiffs have since been swindled of their investments and expected returns amounting to K6,760,245,” they stated.