LUSAKA businessman Prince Siame and another have submitted before the Lusaka High Court that President Hakainde Hichilema should have applied to be removed from the proceedings in which the duo wants the court to declare UPND bankrupt over K400,000 debt.
Siame and Prospect Tech Limited have argued that the proper application the defendants should have made was one for misjoinder or indeed an application to struck out President Hichilema from the proceedings as opposed to seeking to set aside the writ of summons for irregularity.
In this matter, Siame and Prospect Tech Limited sued President Hichilema in his capacity as UPND leader and other party members in 2020 for allegedly failing to pay K400,000 for tickets printed for the party during the national card renewal exercise in 2017.
Siame and Prospect Tech Limited want an order for payment of K400,000 plus 30 percent interest, bringing the total amount due to K520,000 and further, an order that UPND be declared bankrupt for failing to pay its debts and that the party be dissolved and deregistered.
They sued President Hichilema, Katuka in his capacity as UPND secretary general then, Miriam Masando (organising committee chairperson for the card renewal) and UPND Registered Trustees as defendants.
But according to the summons to set aside the originating process for irregularities, the party stated that the purported originating process does not disclose any actionable cause of action against the defendants.
UPND further stated that President Hichilema cannot sue or be sued as he is the Republican President and further noted that Katuka was no longer secretary general of the party and therefore has no interest in the matter.
But the plaintiffs have opposed the defendants’ summons to set aside the originating process for irregularity, stating that the defendants’ application was incompetently and casually presented in defiance of the rules of the court.
“The defendants cannot use a change of circumstances to claim irregularities in a writ of summons,” the plaintiffs stated.
The plaintiffs argued that President Hichilema had not been elected President at the time the action commenced.
They stated that the proper application the defendants should have made was an application for misjoinder or indeed an application to struck out President Hichilema from the proceedings.
“Regarding the first defendant, the proper application to make by the defendants was an application for alteration of parties and not an application to set aside writ for irregularity. The first defendant was still the secretary general of UPND,” the plaintiffs stated.
They stated that the action could continue even in the absence of President Hichilema if he was misjoined.