POLICY Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) executive director Bernadette Deka has denied owing Vyansilati Enterprise Limited, a money lending company, over K2 million.
Vyansilati Enterprise Limited has taken Ms Deka to the Lusaka High Court seeking an order that she pay back the K2, 675, 000 debt at 15 percent interest per week from April 27 2019, the date of default.
But Ms Deka, in her defence, said her agent, Peter Malawi, entered into an agreement with the company’s director, Marvin Chibwe, to borrow a sum of K1,000, 000 on January 18, 2019.
She said Mr Chibwe advanced K1,000, 000 to her for a period of one month at 100 percent interest and a penalty of 15 percent per week.
Ms Deka denied claims by Vyansilati that at her instance, she freely and voluntarily requested to enter into an agreement with Mr Chibwe on or about April 9, 2019 where it was agreed that she borrow K2, 675, 000.
She said subsequently, Mr Chibwe and herself executed an agreement purporting that Mr Chibwe had lent her K2,675, 000 to disguise the unconscionable interest rate of 100 percent per month.
She said the penalty of 15 percent per week was illegal and void.
“While the defendant admits owing the principal sum of K1, 000, 000 and reasonable interest to Marvin Chibwe, she denies indebtedness to the plaintiff at all and puts the plaintiff to strict proof.
“The defendant denies each and every allegation in the statement of claim as though the same were herein set out and traversed seriatim,” Ms Deka said.
Earlier, Vyansilati Enterprise Limited, in its statement of claim, said it was a private company limited by shares incorporated and was engaged in a business of civil works, electrical repairs and money lending.
Vyansilati Enterprise Limited said it entered into an express term of agreement which was accepted by Ms Deka and she promised that she would pay back the money in two instalments from the date of the agreement.
“Upon default by the defendant, the said amount could attract interest as at the rate of 15 percentage of the total amount due per week,” it said.
The company said despite numerous requests to Ms Deka to settle her debt with interest as agreed, she had to date failed to make the settlement in part or in full. “Despite our advocates writing a demand letter dated May 23, 2019 to the defendant, she made promises to pay but there has been no effort from her to honour the said promises, causing the plaintiffs to suffer loss of business, profit and inconvenience,” Vyansilati said.
The company wants payment of the money with interest at the average short-term deposit rate per year from the date of the writ to the date of the judgement and thereafter, at the rate not exceeding the current lending rate as determined by Bank of Zambia.
Vyansilati is further claiming damages for breach of contract.
The matter continues.
Source: Daily Nation