HONEYBEE Pharmacy Limited and the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) have engaged in ex-curia (out of court) settlement negotiations in a matter in which the former has sued the latter, seeking an order to forbid the authority from revoking its license.

Honeybee Pharmacy Limited has, through its lawyers, informed Lusaka High Court Judge Catherine Lombe
Phiri that the parties are on the verge of reaching an agreement.

In this matter, Honeybee, which is being represented by Tutwa S Ngulube & Company, is seeking an order of interim injunction to restrain ZAMRA by itself, servants, agents or whomsoever from revoking its Pharmaceutical License and publishing any information on social media and other platforms calculated at injuring its reputation.

It also wants an order that the matter be referred to arbitration as per the provisions of the contract governing the relationship between Honeybee Pharmaceuticals Limited and the procuring entity, costs and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.

The court had set February 8, 2021 as a date for inter-parte hearing of an injunction filed by Honeybee Pharmacy Limited.

However, on February 5, 2021, Honeybee through its lawyers filed an affidavit in support of notice to adjourn the matter.

Emmanuel Lilanda, a lawyer from Messrs Tutwa S Ngulube and Company, applied that the matter be adjourned to a date to be agreed by the parties on ground that the parties had engaged in out of court settlement negotiations.

“I wish to seek for an adjournment of this matter due to the fact that the parties herein have engaged in ex curia settlement negotiations and are on the verge of reaching an agreement. I verily believe that the defendant in this cause will not be prejudiced in anyway if the matter is to be adjourned to a date to be agreed by the parties involved,” he stated.

Honeybee had stated in its statement of claim filed recently that in November 2019, it bade and won a tender for the supply of 22,500 Health Centre kits with the Ministry of Health and a contract was executed to that effect.

It stated that the goods contracted to be sold were to be subjected to testing and confirmation procedure as a condition precedent for awarding a certificate of acceptance as to the fitness of the goods supplied.

Honeybee stated that pursuant to the said contract, it delivered part of the consignment contracted for and the same was subjected to a testing and confirmation procedure and a certificate of fitness and acceptance of the goods supplied was issued by the procuring entity.

It stated on or about September 17, 2020, and other subsequent days, ZAMRA begun issuing threats, unverified and disparaging remarks to Honeybee as having supplied defective products disregarding the certificate of fitness earlier issued by the procuring authority.

“The actions of the defendant (ZAMRA) were and are unreasoble as they go against the provisions of the contract aforesaid coupled with the fact that the defendant was not a party to the said contract hereinbefore sufficiently adumbrated,” read the claim.

Honeybee claimed that it on a number of occasions engaged ZAMRA to settle the issues in contention but the same proved futile as ZAMRA went on rampage issuing threats against its good reputation.

Honeybee stated that ZAMRA had further threatened to revoke its pharmaceutical license in a malicious and arbitrary manner without regard to the provisions of the said contract when in fact a number of other pharmaceutical companies such as international Drug Corporation Limited and Shalina Pharmaceutical Company Limited has had their products recalled but without any threats and negative publicity.

It lamented that ZAMRA had falsely and unjustistly caused harm to its reputation and commercial wellbeing.

“Even the purported laboratory results that the defendant is relying on were obtained from a laboratory that is not accredited with the world health organisation, contrary to the provisions of the contract here before adumbrated. The allegations are all false and untrue and that at no time did the plaintiff supply defective goods to the procuring entity,” read the claim.