TRANSPORT and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali has been dragged to court by an investment firm which is seeking a declaration that he pays K1 million for breach of an investment contract.

Liki Investment Limited, which has cited Tayali as the first respondent and Sherry Sinzala as second respondent, wants the Lusaka High court to grant him an order of foreclosure.

The plaintiff wants an order of possession of Lot 23080/M/A in Lusaka or in the alternative, an appointment of a receiver over Plot No. 23080/M/A.

Liki Investment Limited wants an order for sale of the Lot, costs, interests on all amounts found due and any other relief the court might deem fit.

In an affidavit in support of originating summons filed into the Lusaka High Court, Liki Investment Limited manager Bongani Maano stated that the plaintiff was an investment company that was in the business of investing money in other businesses for profit.

Liki investment Limited stated that sometime in 2020, Tayali and Sinzala were in need of capital for their business and approached the plaintiff for capital worth of K1,000,000 for their business.

The company stated that on July 1, 2020, the parties entered into an investment agreement whereby it was agreed that the applicant would inject a K1 million in the respondents’ business on condition that the said business must provide profits to the applicant for three consecutive months amounting to a total of K750,000 at K250,000 per month.

It stated that the business was required to pay back the principle invested and in the investment contract, the parties agreed to a term couched in the following manner: “Upon default to pay the principal investment amount and the profits on agreed herein, the investor shall immediately transfer the title of the property from Frank Museba Tayali and Sherry Tukali Sinzala name into the investor’s name and Frank Museba Tayali and Sherry Tukali Sinzala shall have no further claim to the

Liki investment Limited stated that in furtherance of the investment contract, it invested the sum of K1,000,000 in Tayali’s and Sinzala’s business on July 2 and July 9, 2020.

It stated that up to date, Tayali failed to pay him profit or the principal investment amount thereby, wholly breaching the investment agreement.

Liki investment Limited stated that he made several demand letters but there was no response until on October 6, 2020 when Tayali responded via email and explained that the delay to pay back was caused by the closure of bars following a presidential announcement on Covid-19 guidelines and promised that since the same had been lifted, he would pay back the money.

The company stated that after it realised that Tayali had refused, ignored or neglected to pay the value of the investment as per contract, it enforced its rights under the contract by changing ownership of Lot Nom 24080/M_ off great east total Silverest Garden to its name.

Liki Investment Limited stated that upon the change of the name, Tayali commenced an action under cause no 2020/HPC/0859 where he alleged that the transaction between the parties was simply a loan agreement and they brought from the court an order to reopen the transaction so that 48 percent interest rate was applied in accordance with the Money Lenders Act.

The plaintiff stated that in a judgement delivered on June 11, 2021, the court held that: “I am convinced that the respondent is carrying on a money lending business and therefore the relief sought by the applicant (Tayali) for an order to reopen the whole transaction regarding the interest rate charge should succeed. The rate of interest applicable on the loan is simple interest of the maximum rate of 48% per annum from the date of the loan contract to the date of final payment.”

Liki Investment Limited stated that the court further held that what was created between the parties was an equitable mortgage and the contract of sale executed was a nullify and set aside the contract of sale and assigned Lot 2480//M and the eventual registration of the assignment.

“That following the Judgement, the applicant’s director, Paul Kahenya sent a WhatsApp message to the 1st respondent (Tayali) out of good will inviting him to settle the matter ex curia more so because he had just been appointed minister of Transport and Communication and a court action against him would not be good for his public image,” Liki Investment Limited stated.

It stated that Tayali agreed to settle the issue ex curia but went quiet until in September 2021 and promised that he would pay the outstanding monies on or before December 31, 2021and in default Liki Investment Limited would be at liberty to proceed and sell No. 23080/M/A Lusaka.

The applicant stated that Tayali again went quiet refusing to sign commitment letter and in January 2022, the company representative met with Sinzala who proposed that the defendants pays K1,000,000 and the applicant write off the rest of the monies owed but Liki Investment Limited rejected the offer and she again proposed that the K1,000,000 be paid in December.

It stated that it was from the above that the firm concluded that the respondents were not interested in resolving the matter ex curia and that the only available option was to commence legal proceedings.

Liki Investment Limited stated that the court had power to order the respondents to pay the applicant the K1, 000, 000 principal sum plus interests at 48 per annum.

“That further this honourable court had power to make an order for foreclosure, possession/appointment of receiver and sale of Lot 2380/M, Lusaka,” stated Liki Investment.