THE Lusaka High Court has allowed 16 business houses operating at Lusaka’s Levy Business Park to start contempt proceedings against the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) for issuing a warrant of distress to the tenants despite the matter being in court.
This is a case in which MJA Limited and others have taken NAPSA to court over its decision to terminate tenancy agreements with them.
On September 24 last year, NAPSA issued out notices to terminate tenancy with the companies but the business houses applied for an order in court for new tenancy agreements and the matter is scheduled for hearing on March 3.
But last Thursday, NAPSA issued warrants of distress and engaged a bailiff, Masauso Banda, to seize goods worth K504,309.09 from Radian Stores and other tenants.
This prompted the companies to apply for leave to commence contempt proceedings against NAPSA before High Court judge Prisca Nyambe.
Ms Justice Nyambe granted the 16 shops an order for leave to commence contempt proceedings against NAPSA after reading an affidavit by MJA Limited director Jimmy Makanga, who has a shop trading as Top of the Town boutique.
“Upon hearing counsel for the applicant and upon reading the affidavit of Mr Makanga, it is hereby ordered and directed that leave be and is hereby granted to the applicants to commence contempt proceedings,” Justice Nyambe said.
Mr Makanga and other tenants want the High Court to send to jail NAPSA director general Charles Mpundu, the institution’s legal counsel Mwenya Kapasa and Mr Banda for contempt of court.
Mr Makanga, who sued on behalf of others, said Mr Mpundu should be jailed for authorising the issuance of warrants of distress and allowing the levying of distress on the tenants.
He said Ms Kapasa should be committed to prison for having prepared and issued the warrants of distress.
Mr Makanga said the companies want Mr Banda to be jailed for levying distress and continuing to levy distress and for ignoring the order for leave to commence contempt proceedings, which were served on him on February 21 this year.