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Dispute ‘too big’ for local court

MUTINTA MULAYE writes

THE Boma Local Court in Lusaka has dismissed a case in which a businessman sued his friend alleging that she owed him K3,850

 and has advised parties to sue from the subordinate court.

Because of jurisdiction the court advised Victor Banda, 49, of Chilenje to start a civil case against Irene Njobvu, 45, of Rhodes Park in a magistrates’ court.

The matter was before senior local court magistrate Peggy Nyambe.

Banda testified that he fixed problems on Njobvu’s car from 2017 and she had an unpaid balance of K3,850.

“In March 2017 she called me saying her car had a problem. I went and got her car and assessed what was needed. I gave her the bill, which was K5,500. She only gave me K1,500 and told me the other money she was expecting hadn’t come in,” Banda said.

He said Njobvu told him if there was anything else that was needed he should use his money to fix it and she would pay him later.

“I repaired what needed attention, then I later realised the gearbox had a problem. I looked for someone who worked on it because she said she couldn’t afford the bill that came from the Gearbox Centre.

“After the guy fixed the bill came to K1,000, which she said she didn’t have and asked me to pay saying she would give me back the money later,” Mr Banda said.

He said he refused to pay for her because she had not cleared the other money she was owing him.

“She started a habit of making excuses every time I called her to ask for my money. Every time I called she would say ‘actually the car has this and this problem’,” Banda said.

He said Njobvu continued giving stories for months and that he ended up telling her that it was okay for the money for labour, that she should just give him money for the spares he had bought.

“She promised me she would pay me the whole amount, but to date, nothing has happened,” Mr Banda said.

In defence, Njobvu said in total, she gave Banda K1,500 and he started working on her car from his home.

“In time he told me he needed more money. I referred him to my niece to get a K1,000 and I later referred him to a friend to get another K1,000. I even called the guy to confirm he had given him the money and he confirmed,” Njobvu said.

“He brought me back the car after three months and when I tried it, I didn’t like the sound it was making. The driver’s seat window also wasn’t okay. After a week, the car refused to move forward. The car had been having problems.

“I actually paid him K2,400 and what is left is K2,300. I wasn’t satisfied with the figures he gave me and with the job he did,” she said.

The court found that the car in question was a registered car which was beyond local court jurisdiction. The case was dismissed and parties advised to take the matter to the subordinate court.

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