Businessman Thindwa loses K45m case against National Bank of Malawi

A Blantyre-based businessperson Harry Thindwa has lost his case against National Bank of Malawi (NBM) for wrongful seizure of his truck which led to loss of business claiming to be around K45 million.

Thindwa dragged NBM to Blantyre High Court Commercial division, after the bank on October 6, 2012 through its agents, Powermite Bargains illegally seized his truck, Man Diesel registration number NA3685 in its quest to recover payment of Master Lease entered between the bank and its client, Wandiya Thindwa.

Wandiya Thindwa (Harry Nthindwa’s mother) used as surety her truck Layland DAF MZ8875 and Isuzu Giga NA3084 both registered under her company, Tahama Enterprise, in the Master Lease Agreement that never included Her son’s truck Man Diesel registered under Wanhat Investment.

Claims

Thindwa through his lawyer, Ambokile Salimu commenced legal acation for lost of a two-year business deal from Katundu Haulage for a monthly fee of K1, 900, 000 totaling to K45, 600,000, following the seizure of his vehicle by the bank.justice

However, NBM through its lawyer, Meyer Chisanga dismissed the claim, arguing it was not aware of the contract Thindwa’s truck had with katundu at the time it was impounded.

Chisanga, conceded that the bank impounded the wrong truck that was not part of the lease agreement but was quick to point out that the incident had anything to do with the claimed loss of business on the part of Thindwa.

Chisanga claimed the truck was impounded upon instructions from Wandiya Thindwa and that it was broken down at the time it was impounded.

Court Ruling

In his ruling, Judge John katsala said Thindwa’s claim could not be surstained, arguing there is no evidence to prove the bank in any way intended to breach the said contract.

Justice Katsala said the bank could not be held liable to Thindwa’s loss of business despite him furnishing the court with documents proving his claim.

“The claim for the value of the katundu contract cannot be sustained,” ruled Justice Katsala.

He added: “I would have awarded loss of business for another contract the complainant had with Illovo Malawi for six days when the truck was detained by the bank and general damages for failure to release the truck but the complainant never made such claim”.

Earlier on, Chisanga had told the court that the said Katundu Haulage contract did not exist and that was a sham and fabricated one, demanding proof from Thindwa who produced the demanded evidence.

The bank lawyer further claimed that Thindwa did not suffer any loss or damage as alleged as the vehicle was only withheld for only 5 to 6 days before was released by the bank, a time flame that could not cause Katundu Haulage to terminate the said contract.

Defamation

However, Salimu insisted in response to the bank’s defence that the seized truck was not owned by Wandiya Thindwa and therefore had no authority to authorize the seizure.

“It’s a blatant lie as shall be demonstrated at trial, that Mrs. Wandiya Thindwa ordered that the bank’s agent should seize motor vehicle Man Diesel registration number NA3685 as alleged. And the vehicle was broken down and that the contract with Katundu Haulage is a sham,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to Salimu his client has issued an instruction to sue the bank for defamation apart from the K45, 600, 000 compensation.

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