A LOCAL investment company has asked the High Court’s Commercial Division to order Citibank Tanzania Limited to deposit in court over 7tril/- in the winding up proceedings involving Tritelecommunication Tanzania Limited (Tritel), the first ever mobile service provider company in Tanzania.
The money, according to submissions by the company, VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited (VIP Company), includes $461,531,204.37 and 1,168,507,807,204/- as security for the due performance by the bank for its obligations towards four petitioners.
Other petitioners, apart from VIP are: Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), successor to the Tanzania Communication Commission.
Lawyers for the VIP Company request the court to order Citibank to deposit such amount within one month from May 30, 2017, and are further seeking for orders, dismissing the application by Citibank to challenge orders for winding up Tritel issued by the court on June 12, 2003.
The bank is currently applying for leave to file a notice of appeal against the decision given by then High Court Judge Nathalia Kimaro on June 12, 2003, invalidating its agreement on debt (debenture) with Tritel in respect of 18.7bn/- payments.
Judge Kimaro had also ordered the winding up of Tritel and invalidated the debt agreement dated April 6, 2001 between Citibank and Tritel and ordered investigations on relationship between the companies with Citibank on position of $14 million cash collateral with Citibank, N.A London.
It is stated in the submissions that since June 12, 2003 when the court delivered the final winding up orders, the Citibank, which falsely claimed to be a creditor of Tritel under a ‘null and void’ Debenture, continues to resist being investigated for fraud perpetrated upon other creditors.
They state that for the Court to grant an application for extension of time within which to file a notice of appeal under section 11 of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, Cap. 141 of the Laws of Tanzania, the applicant must show that “there exists a sufficient cause.
” They cited several decided cases to show that in order to justify a court extending the time during which some step in procedure requires to be taken, there must be some material on which the court can exercise its discretion.
“We see nothing in the applicant’s application and submissions that justifies grant of … extending time within which to file the notice of appeal,” say seven lawyers: Magdalena Rwebangira, Michael Ngalo, Respicius Didace, Cuthbert Tenga, Okare Emesu, Stephano Kamala, and Paschal Kamala.
According to the submissions, VIP has noted and submitted that Citibank has not applied for leave of the Court in order to file the purported Notice of Appeal, and that it had ‘not even bothered’ to move the Court and the Petitioners to cure the defects which rendered ‘incompetent’ its Civil Appeal No. 23 of 2008.
Such conduct by Citibank, it is stated, obviously means that it still remains bent on abusing court process by continuing to make endless procedural mistakes because so far the court has not ordered Citibank to deposit security before it takes any further steps to appeal as required by the Court of Appeal Rules.
The lawyers are, thus, asking the court to give an order, directing Citibank to obey all the orders which the Court or the Joint Liquidators of TRITEL, Mr Method Anatoli Kashonda and Mr Gaudious Ishengoma, whose joint appointment by the Court were consented to by all the parties.