AN IT specialist and a retired banker have sued former Konkola Copper Mines provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu and his law firm for allegedly neglecting to handle their matter, leading to the said case being dismissed for lack of prosecution.
Mulenga and Chabala Nsomi, who have cited Lungu and Lungu Simwanza and Company as defendants, want the Lusaka High Court to order for reimbursement by the defendants of all costs, including transport expenses they incurred in pursuit of the matter in the High Court.
They have submitted that the matter which the defendants allegedly neglected to handle professionally on their behalf was under cause number 2015/HP/1598.
Mulenga and Chabala also want a refund of the legal fees demanded by and paid to the defendants towards professional services which were not rendered.
The duo further wants compensation for the loss of property, being subdivision No. 8 of subdivision “T” of farm No.380A, which property they allegedly lost due to the professional misconduct of Lungu, as well as, an order that the defendants settle all legal costs for which they (plaintiffs) were ordered to pay in the said matter as a consequence of the defendants failing to attend to the case professionally.
They also want costs of and incidental to the action.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Mulenga and Chabala stated that Lungu was a legal practitioner and partner in the firm of Lungu Simwanza and company.
They stated that in July 2017, they retained the law firm, Lungu Simwanza and Company, to handle their matter in court under cause No. 2015/HP/1598 and the firm accepted the instructions and confirmed the same by a letter dated July 18, 2017, signed by Lungu and also demanded a deposit on fees, which the plaintiffs paid and were given a receipt.
“The plaintiffs paid the fees directly and by transfer to the first defendant (Lungu). The first defendant had conduct of the matter on behalf of the plaintiffs but he failed or neglected to handle and attend to the matter professionally as he did not pay serious attention to the matter, leading to the matter being dismissed by the court for lack of prosecution,” the claim read.
They stated that Lungu was given 30 days by the court to restore the matter to the active list but he neglected or failed to do so.
The plaintiffs further stated that the defendant in that particular matter had his counter-claim heard, judgment was delivered in his favour and, consequently, they lost the property subject of the matter and were condemned in costs to be paid to the defendant in the said matter.
“The plaintiffs tried to engage the first defendant regarding the issues to no avail. The plaintiffs then laid a complaint before the Legal Practitioners Committee of the Law Association of Zambia for professional misconduct. The committee found the first plaintiff culpable for professional misconduct,” read the claim.
The plaintiffs stated that as a result of Lungu’s professional misconduct and breach of contract by failure to handle their matter as undertaken, they have suffered loss of property and damages.