Sonny MulengaLusaka businessman and former minister of Lusaka Sonny Mulenga has sued First Alliance Bank Zambia demanding about K8.4 billion for mismanaging his mortgaged property.

Mulenga and his firm, SP Mulenga Associates International, a Chartered Valuation Surveyors have jointly sued the bank for allegedly acting fraudulently and deceitfully over his indebtedness with the bank.

The statement of claim says that First Alliance Bank Zambia advanced him with a loan of K100 million on 7th December 1995 by crediting the firm’s current account. On the same day, the bank debited the same account with about K105 million but it was later discovered the funds were infact not credited to the loan account.

The court had initially gave judgment in favour of the bank but it was later discovered that the judgment was based on a bank statement that was typed on an ordinary sheet of paper. Mulenga became suspicious of the bank’s activities after settling the debt which was based on non banking documents.

He then reported the matter to police for alleged fraud. When summoned by police, a bank representative conceded that they made an unauthorised transfer of funds from Mulenga’s business account to an unknown account which information was recently admitted by the bank to the police.

“The unauthorised removal of funds had been concealed from the plaintiffs during the mortgage action in court relating to stand number 10445 and was only revealed during police investigations.

“The defendant bank’s unauthorised and irregular debiting of the total sum of K105, 500,000 from the 1st plaintiff to benefit the 2nd plaintiff effectively means that the K100 million term loan has been fully recovered by due date of 31st January 1996,” the statement read.

Mulenga has claimed that the bank failed to base its claim of his indebtedness on the bank’s books of account and records but invented a fictitious self serving account to commit the alleged fraud.

He said the bank breached its duty of care to a customer by failing to render true account of the bank transactions relating to the loan facility.

He says the bank should not have made a typed sheet of paper to show the amount he owed then went further to open a fictitious account when in fact the firm’s bank account was active and operational at the time.

And commenting on the matter that has been suspended to explore possibilities of out of court settlement, Mulenga complained that going by the silence, First Alliance Bank seems to suggest they are unwilling to resolve these issues as earlier agreed.

“Although this matter is in court, I cannot comment further but justice has to be done,” he said.

He complained at the way his case has been handled by the Bank of Zambia as a bank’s supervisory body who cannot take action but that the issue was referred to the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ).

He is however disappointed that BAZ has failed to act on the complaint and wondered how they are failing to deal with a straight forward case.