HONEYBEE Pharmacy Limited has sued government in the Lusaka High Court, demanding payment of almost US$4 million for the supply of health kits, saying that failure to receive this money will incapacitate the company.
According to the statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Tuesday, Honeybee which is being represented by Tutwa S. Ngulube and Company, has sued the Attorney General, seeking payment of $3,998,375.00 for 5,000 medical kits which it supplied to Ministry of Health.
Honeybee stated that in November 2019, it entered into agreement with the Ministry of Health for the supply of 22.500 health care kits at a total contract sum of $17,958,150.00.
The pharmacy stated that out of this, it only supplied 5,000 kits at a total cost of $3,990,700.00 and that the ministry received the same without raising any issues regarding the quality of the products.
“The Plaintiff shall aver that it was an express term of the contract that payment shall be made promptly and expeditiously or shall exceed 60 days from the date of submission of an invoice or claim by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff shall aver that despite the contract providing for part payment of the sums due, the Plaintiff shall aver that Plaintiffs used their own funds to supply the kits and are now seeking full payment. The Plaintiff shall aver that at no point has the Defendant returned or rejected any of the goods supplied and as such are liable for full payment,” Honeybee said.
“The Plaintiff shall aver that several reminders have been made by the Plaintiff and by the Legal Representative of the Plaintiff but have all been seriously ignored. The Plaintiff shall aver at trial that no reason valid or otherwise has been advanced for the failure to pay and also that there was an express term of the Contract that provided for interest on the delayed payments. In breach of the Contract, neither Ministry of Health nor the Defendant have paid for any of the 5,000 medical kits supplied under the contract.”
The Company stated that no dispute had arisen as to the quality of any goods delivered and supplied.
“That it was a term of the contract that should dispute arise as to the quality of the goods delivered or supplied, the goods shall be subject to a test by a laboratory accredited to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Plaintiff shall aver that no dispute arose as to the quality of any of the goods delivered and supplied and that all the goods have been consumed in government hospitals. The Plaintiff shall aver at trial that no goods delivered were subjected to the Laboratory tests in Laboratory accredited to the World Health Organisation,” the Company stated.
“The Plaintiff shall further aver at trial that though no such dispute was declared by the Defendant, the Plaintiff at his own cost and on his own volition subjected the drugs to various tests were conducted by various World Health Organisation accredited laboratories and certified fit for human usage. The Plaintiff shall aver that the Ministry of Health has without the knowledge and consent of the Plaintiff been alleging through media statements and social media posting and outbursts, that despite the goods being accepted as valid in good order at the time of delivery, they claimed without any tests that the said drugs had expired and were toxic when in fact not.”
Honeybee claimed that the Ministry of Health had resorted to ignoring the provisions of the contract.
“Based on the aforesaid, the Defendant and Ministry of Health had since ignored the certificate of Acceptance of the goods dated the 7th day of December, 2020 issued to the Plaintiff by Medical Stores Limited without any lawful authority and a disregard for the rights of the Plaintiff under the Contract. The Plaintiff shall aver that the Ministry of Health has now resorted to seriously ignoring the provisions of the Contract specifically the terms that provides for the payment to the Plaintiff,” it stated.
“The Plaintiff shall aver at trial that it has on a number of occasions tried to resolve this matter with the Defendant amicably and has sought various meetings to enable them to enforce the terms of agreement but that the Ministry of Health and Defendant have denied to comply with the same. The Plaintiff shall aver that the actions of the Ministry of Health are an attempt to frustrate the Plaintiff and further attempt to financially incapacitate the Plaintiff as income from the said contract was sourced from various lenders.”
Honeybee stated that the company had continued to suffer unfathomable and inconceivable damage.
“That as a result of the actions of the Ministry of Health the Plaintiff is under financial distress as the manufactures ‘, transporters and various agents involved in the procurement of the medical kits acquired have been harassing the Plaintiff for the payment of the Medical Kits supplied and incidental transactions thus leaving the Plaintiff in a pitfall of foreseeable legal problems bound to cripple the Plaintiff. That as a result of the actions of the Ministry of Health, the Plaintiff has suffered and continued to suffer unfathomable and inconceivable damage,” Honeybee stated.
Honeybee demanded payment of $3,998,375.00 for the medical kits supplied, among other reliefs sought.
“The Plaintiff claims: (i) An order for the the payment of three million nine hundred ninety thousand seven hundred United States Dollars($3, 998,375.00) being final payment for the 5 000 medical kits supplied as at the date of the Writ; (ii) an order for the payment of seventeen million nine hundred fifty eight thousand one hundred fifty United States Dollars (USD17, 958, 150.00) being monies expected from Contract Number MOH/SP/032/19-02 and/or in the alternative an Order for specific performance of the Contract Number MOH/SP/032/19-02; (iii) an order that interest on the said sums as per Contract until final settlement; (iv) an Order for the interest from the date of Writ till final determination of the proceedings; (v) an order for specific performance of the Contract; (vi) an Order for exemplary and aggravated damages; (vii) an Order for interest on all sums granted; (vi) any other relief on all sums granted; (v) any other relief this Court may deem fit; (vi) costs,” stated Honeybee.