MBARUKU Trading Limited has sued former Kasama PF member of parliament Kelvin Sampa, demanding payment of K1.4 million he allegedly paid himself as commission instead of paying to ZRA.

The company says Sampa allegedly assured them that he would assist in getting back their Konyagi spirit, which was impounded by the authority as he had contacts at ZRA.

The company and its managing director, Salehe Mbaruku Sengulo want the Lusaka High Court to order Sampa to pay K1,400,000, being the money collected by him for purposes of making payment to ZRA on their behalf, which money Sampa paid himself as commission.

In the alternative, the plaintiffs want payment of K1,220,843, being the money that Sampa was initially supposed to pay to ZRA on behalf of the plaintiffs, which money he kept to himself as a commission.

They also want damages for the fraudulent representations made which induced them to avail the sum of K1,400,000.00 which he kept as his commission, contrary to the agreement of the parties.

The plaintiffs also want damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and stress caused to them as they had to source the amount of K1, 220,843.00 payable to ZRA when the said money was misappropriated by Sampa.

In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, commercial division recently, the plaintiffs stated that sometime in March 2021, the company’s truck importing Konyagi spirit, an alcoholic beverage, was impounded by ZRA and the said consignment was impounded.

Sengulo stated that sometime after the event, he explained the ordeal to a Mr Ackim Lungu who was the chairman for the PF at COMESA market, at which market the company has an outlet which primarily supplies the said Konyagi spirit which was impounded.

He stated that Lungu indicated to him that he knew Sampa who would assist him with the issue with ZRA as he was an influential public figure with contacts at ZRA.

“It was on this premise that Sengulo on behalf of the company approached Sampa with Mr Ackim Lungu in order to be assisted with ZRA’s decision to impound the company’s consignment. The defendant in the presence of Mr Ackim Lungu assured Sengulo that he would assist them to retain their goods as he had contacts at ZRA,” the claim read.

Sengulo stated that ZRA eventually demanded that the company pays K1,220, 843 as full and final penalty payment to have the goods released after some negotiations, mitigation and pleading that was done.

“The plaintiff on the advice of the defendant did facilitate a total payment of K1,400,000.00 to the defendant for purposes of making the said payment to ZRA and that any excess would then be utilised by the defendant as a service or consultation fee,” he stated.

Sengulo stated that despite making the said amount to Sampa, he only realised sometime later that Sampa had not made any payment to ZRA.

He stated that after realizing that Sampa used all the K1,400,000.00 without paying anything to ZRA, the company had to source another K1,220,843.00 in order to pay ZRA to have the goods released.

Sengulo stated that he tried on several times to have Sampa refund the sum of K1,400,000 but to no avail and he reported him to the police.

He stated that Sampa initially refused having received the money but when he told him that there was CCTV which would show that he got the money, Sampa allegedly agreed to pay the money back.

The plaintiffs however stated that the defendant had still not refunded the money.