Dunia P. Zongwe

Publication Date



In the first semester of 2008, the appellant, Chrismar Hotel Ltd, needed finance to buy some equipment, including earth-moving equipment. It therefore solicited funds from the respondent bank, Stanbic Bank Zambia Ltd, with which it had held several accounts, obtained credit facilities (for example, mortgages and debentures), and established a longstanding relationship. The respondent bank agreed to lend money to the appellant hotel.

Thus, the hotel and the bank (hereinafter ‘the parties’) entered into eight distinct yet identically worded finance leases. For a total sum of 1.7 million US dollars, the eight leases each specified the amount that the respondent bank would finance together with the finance charges that the appellant should pay. The appellant secured the finance leases with third party mortgages over two properties. In terms of the finance leases, the appellant had to repay the leased sums in 60 monthly installments ending on May 30th, 2013. By the time the lease ended, total repayment had to amount to 2,280,121.00 US dollars.

On December 4th, 2012, the appellant had paid back a total sum of 2,413,168.43 US dollars, but the respondent bank continued to apply a variety of charges and expenses with interest. The appellant therefore sued the respondent, complaining that the respondent breached the finance leases and the law. But, on May 23rd, 2016, except for the appellant’s submissions on the value-added tax (VAT), the High Court dismissed the appellant’s suit with costs. Thereupon, the hotel appealed against the High Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court of Zambia.