HONEYBEE Pharmacy Limited has asked the Lusaka High Court to ignore the invitation by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) to have its suit against the authority dismissed.
It has argued that its case against ZAMRA boarders on public interest and that striking out the same would deprive the innocent 17 million Zambians who would like to know the truth regarding a very debatable public issue which touches on the people’s emotions.
Honeybee Pharmacy Limited adds that the case has vital importance not only to the public as it touches on the interest of Zambians who are interested on knowing how tax payers’ money was spent on procurement of medical kits, and that it further seeks to improve the country’s jurisprudence so far as product liability cases are concerned.
It has further submitted that ZAMRA’s application to have the action dismissed is simply an attempt by the authority to avoid the contemptuous acts it engaged in by revoking a license which is the subject of the proceedings and as such pre-emptying the power vested in the court to adjudicate and determine all matters brought to its attention.
In this matter, Honeybee Pharmacy Limited has sued ZAMRA seeking an order to forbid the authority from revoking its Pharmaceutical Licence.
Honeybee Pharmacy Limited, 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.
However, ZAMRA had recently asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss the said matter with costs, arguing that the action was an abuse of court process.
The authority further argued that Honeybee Pharmacy Limited had no locus standi in relation to the Pharmaceutical Licence as the same was not granted to ‘Honeybee Pharmacy Limited’ but to ‘Honeybee Pharmacy’.
But in its affidavit in opposition to summons to strike out its statement of claim, Honeybee Pharmacy Limited managing director Zakir Motala Hussein argued that ZAMRA’s affidavit in support of summons to strike out the claim for want of a cause of action does not disclose any purported deficiency in Honeybee’s originating process.
He added that Honeybee’s originating process discloses operative facts giving rise to a factual situation that entitles Honeybee to obtain a remedy before the court.
“The same operative facts are equally admitted by ZAMRA who went ahead to revoke the Licensee that is the subject of these proceedings in a contemptuous matter without regard to the fact that the same license is a subject of litigation before this Honorable Court,” Hussein stated.
He stated that among the operative facts giving rise to the basis of suing as revealed by Honeybee’s originating process was whether ZAMRA could engage in acts disturbing the business of Honeybee when they were not a party to the Contract between Honeybee and the procuring entity in the Contract supplied.
Hussein stated that it would therefore be prudent to order an amendment should it be deemed that the said originating process by Honeybee does not reveal a cause of action.
“I am advised by my advocates and verily believe the same to be true that even if we were to assume that Honeybee Pharmacy Limited’s originating process does not reveal a cause of action as alleged, (Though it does as demonstrated above), the best route to take would be to order that the same be amended as this action boarders on public interest and striking out the action would deprive the innocent 17 million Zambians who would like to know the truth regarding a very debatable public issue which touches on the emotions of the Zambian people,” he stated.
Hussein added that he was advised by his lawyers and believed the same to be true that cases should be heard and determined on their merits and not on technicalities and piecemeal.
He argued that a perusal of Honeybee’s originating process revealed a cause of action and that the same had been acknowledged by ZAMRA who have since cancelled the licence in question in a contemptuous matter and without due regard to the proceedings in court.
Hussein added that ZAMRA’s application was merely an after-thought calculated at delaying the cause of justice after realizing that their actions towards Honeybee’s business were injurious and malicious and unjustifiable.
“That this is not a proper case in which an application to strike out writ of summons and statement of claimed can be entertained,” he stated.
Earlier, ZAMRA’s acting Director Medines Control Nyambe Lyoko had argued that the writ of summons and statement of claim filed by Honeybee Pharmacy Limited disclosed no reasonable cause of action against ZAMRA.
He added that the action was an abuse of court process.
“I therefore humbly apply for an order that the same be struck out and that the action be dismissed forthwith with costs,” stated Lyoko.