THE High Court has stopped proceedings in the case in which the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) has sued JCN Holding, The Post Newspaper Limited and suspended Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito over a K14 billion debt pending determination of an appeal in the Supreme Court.
DBZ appealed against the High Court’s decision to refuse to join The Post editor-in-chief Fred M’membe, lawyer Nchima Nchito and Mining Air Services, Zambian Airways Limited as respondents to the proceedings.
High Court judge Justin Chashi dismissed the application stating that Mr M’membe and Mr Nchito could not be joined as they are not party and privy to the syndicated loan agreement.
DBZ was dissatisfied with the decision and argued in a memorandum of appeal filed in the Supreme Court that Mr Justice Chashi misdirected himself in law and in fact when he held that the four could not be added to the action on grounds that the bank did not put up a strong and convincing case as to why it wanted them to be joined to the matter.
The DBZ stated that the court erred when it refused to remove the witness statements of Richard Phiri and James Kapesa on the basis of their contracts of employment with it.
It contended that Mr Justice Chashi also erred when he refused to remove the due diligence report from the defendants’ bundle of documents.
When the case came up for hearing, DBZ asked the court to stay the proceedings pending determination of the appeal to the Supreme Court.
Justice Chashi in his ruling stayed the proceedings but that all outstanding interlocutory applications which are pending before him will be heard and determined.
“After my ruling on December 12, 2015, I had set down the matter for the 10th of February, 2016 for a status conference with view of looking at the way forward and eventually settling down the matter for trial. I will grant the application for stay of proceedings arising out of the ruling pending appeal,” he said.