By DERRICK SINJELA, SAEED SIMON BANDA and HENRY CHUNZA
MARITIME Freight and Forwarding Limited has petitioned Chief Justice Mumba Malila to compel a subordinate judge to deliver judgement in a matter Zambian Breweries for terminating a Tuesday, 10th June, 2008 carriage contract.
In a Monday, 31st October, 2022 petition, Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited Managing Director Misheck Chatora implored Chief Justice Malila to probe the inordinate delay of the case since it was concluded in July 2016, eight years ago.
After a decade and a year wait, Chatora recollected commencing the said matter in November 2011 before High Court judge Timothy Katanekwa.
“My Lord it is in this vain that I opine that the said inordinate and unexplained delay in the delivery of the judgement is a Travesty of Justice (ToJ) and a complete denial of justice to the parties. My Lord there has been no indication on the part of the presiding judge as to when the said judgement would be delivered, a situation which has brought anxiety and suspicion in the minds of the parties…..I call upon your good office as an epitome of justice to intervene in the matter to help the parties receive justice and also preserve the integrity of the Judiciary,” grieved a concerned Chatora.
Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited took Zambian Breweries to the High Court seeking a declaration that the defendant’s decision to terminate the contract of carriage is null and void as it was done in bad faith and of no good cause, contrary to the contract entered into on Tuesday, 10th June, 2008.
According to a Republic of Zambia
Writ Of Summons obtained from The High Court in Ndola, Copperbelt Province, Chatora as plaintiff wants the court the penalise the defendant.
The Writ of Summons obtained in Zambia at the Ndola District Registry, a Civil Jurisdiction is in progress
between Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited and Zambian Breweries PLC HC Civ 2, 2011/HN/ as a defendant, whose address is Mungwi Road, Heavy Industrial Area, Lusaka.
Details submitted to the High Court by Chatora show that within 21 days after the service of this writ on the plaintiff, Zambian Breweries Plc caused an appearance to be entered for them in an action at Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited; taking notice that in default the court may proceed therein, and deliver Judgment may be given in their absence.
Making reference to the past, the High Court noted that Earnest SAKALA, then Chief Justice of Zambia ‘in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Eleven (2011), noted that a Memorandum could be subscribed on the writ
twelve (12) calendar months from the date thereof, or, if renewed, within six calendar months from the date of the last renewal, including the day of such date, and not afterwards.
Secondly, the defendant may appear hereto by entering an appearance
(or appearances) either personally or by solicitor at the Principal Registry, High Court for Zambia, Lusaka.
Thirdly, a defendant appearing personally may, if he desire, enter his appearance by post and the appropriate forms may be obtained from any High Court Registry or from any Subordinate Court Office.
“The forms, when completed should be sent in triplicate by registered letter addressed to “The Registrar, P.O Box RW67, Ridgeway, Lusaka”, so as to reach him within the time stated above,” the Writ of Summons read in part.
Alluding to endorsements made on the writ before issue thereof, Chatora as the Plaintiffs has raised six. (6) claims; first seeking a declaration that the Defendant’s decision to terminate the contract of carriage it executed with the Plaintiff on 10th June 2008 is null and void as it was done in bad faith and for no good cause, contrary to the provisions of the said contract.
Secondly, Chatora wants a declaration that the decision and action of the Defendant stopping the Plaintiff from transporting Castle beer PET soft drinks and imported beverages which were to be loaded from the Defendant’s main plant in Lusaka for the Northern depots and Distributors and directing the Plaintiff to charge one way for inter depot routes is illegal and in breach of the Contract dated Tuesday, 10th June,
2008, which was signed by both parties; Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited and Zambian Breweries Plc.
Thirdly Chatora is suing for damages for breach of contract and damages for consequential loss; and fourthly, equally seeking an injunction restraining the Defendant whether by itself, its agents, servants or any person whomsoever from terminating the Plaintiffs Contract of carriage dated Tuesday, 10th June, 2008 or interfering with the smooth running of the Plaintiffs business pending the determination of this matter by this honourable court.
Fifty Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited wants Zambian Breweries Plc to pay interest on any sums found due to the Plaintiff;
and on number six, Chatora wants other relief the court may deem fit; and with the seventh relief sought
Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited writ was issued by Messrs. Musa Mwenya Advocates, of Base Office Park, Plot 35184 Alick Nkhata Avenue, P. O. Box 50794 Lusaka —Advocates for the Plaintiff.
Messrs. Musa Mwenya Advocates is acting as Solicitor for the Said plaintiff – Maritime Freight and Forwarding Limited, whose business premise is at Plot No. 9320, Kabwe Road, Ndola, Copperbelt Province.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) will soon give Chatora a date, on another matter which has been in Judge Katanekwa’s hands since 2011 and judgment has not been delivered.
The case started in 2011 as indicated on the writ of summons cited above.
This case involves the same parties Maritime Freight & Forwarding Limited and Zambian Breweries.
This is the same Zambian Breweries embroiled in a controversial judgment where again the plaintiff, Chatora reported four (4) judges of the Supreme Court namely; Nigel Mutuna, Evans Hamaundu, Michael Musonda and Royda Kaoma to the JCC.
Using the justice delayed is justice principle, Chatora is aggrieved that Katanekwa has literally sat on the judgment for six (6) years.