By Mary Taruvinga
A BIOGAS energy specialist, Dutch Lungu has dragged the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) to court seeking US$120 000 compensation after the church caused him to lose his job with a South African company.
Lungu said he was awarded a one-year contract as a Renewable Energy Specialist Consultant of Biogas Taskforce Zimbabwe, a department of the Office of the State Research Scientist.
The job was going to give him US$120 000 in total since he was going to be paid US$10 000 per month.
However, the contract failed after AFM, On March 26, 2019 filed a court application against him at the High Court and failed to serve him on time.
According to the summons he filed with the High Court, Lungu said he only got to know about the pending lawsuit against him hours before the trial and was forced to leave South Africa without notifying his employer resulting in his contract being terminated.
“Further, AFM did not serve the application and lied before the court that the application had duly been served, thus misleading the court to give the plaintiff a default judgement on May 8 2019,” reads part of the summons.
He added, “I only knew of the defendant’s actions a day before the trial date on the motion roll.
“I was based in South Africa where I have been commissioned on a twelve-month contract as a renewable Energy Specialist Consultant of Biogas Taskforce Zimbabwe, a department of the Office of the State Research Scientist.
“I had to travel from South Africa to Harare to respond to AFM’s application only to find that a default judgement had been granted,” he said.
Lungu tried to fight the default judgement but his argument was removed from the court roll after court ruled that his application had been overtaken by events.
AFM had lodged a complaint against Lungu at the High Court claiming that he had sold the church a stand in Epworth but failed to honour his obligations to change ownership.
The church claimed costs against him, and the claim succeeded because he was not there to defend himself.
He insists that AFM’s application was defective, and the order sought was incompetent.
Lungu did not deny having sold a stand to AFM but said AFM was aware that ownership could not be changed because he has outstanding rates at the local authority which were due from the date of subdivision of the stand to date.
“As a result of these outstanding rates, the stand cannot be transferable,” he said.
He went on to demand US$120 000 and also an order against AFM to stop any case against him in the courts.
AFM has not filed its response to the summons.