Court orders Mulli to pay Mzuzu transporter K5m

It never rains but pours for Malawi’s business conglomerate, the Mulli Brothers Holding Limited as the High Court of Malawi has  ordered the firm to pay over K5 million it owes a Mzuzu based transport company.

High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise, sitting at the Mzuzu District Registry, ordered the company to pay Lunyina Haulage, after failing to do so since May 2012.

According to a court documents, Civil Cause no. 75 of 2012, the once mighty business mogul, subcontracted Lunyina Haulage on 26th September, 2011 to transport fertilizer, under the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme he was contracted by Malawi Government, to distribute in selling points in the Northern Region.

The applicant (Lunyina Haulage) performed the subcontract as required by respondent (Mulli) at the total contract sum of K11, 697.478.00 ought to have been paid in full by February, 2012.

Mulli: Ordered to pay

But after numerous reminders from February 2012 to November 2012, Mulli “wrongfully declined, neglected and/or ignored to pay up the debt in full.”

“They only paid K2, 000.000.00 on 27th April 2012 and another K2, 000.000.00 on 31st May 2012, thereby reducing the contract sum debt from K11, 697,478.00 to K7, 697,478.00,” says document.

However, considering that they did not agree to be paid by instalments, Lunyina sought legal redresss and claimed the balance, interest on the said sum at the current commercial banks lending rate; legal practitioner’s statutory collection charges calculated at 15% of the debt; Value Added Tax collection charges calculated at 16.5%; and costs of the action which Mulli disputed.

But in an affidavit, Mulli, who was represented by a Mr. Mbeta, admitted that the contract sum was indeed K11,697,478.00 but insisted that it was paid in full by them.

And summarizing his decision the Registrar, on 6th November, 2012, dismissed the application for summary judgment and judgment in admission.

However, the applicant appealed against the dismissal of the two applications.

And in his determination, Judge Madise erred the Registrar in proceeding to dismiss the matter on “mere speculation” that the money had been paid.

Judge Madise also wondered how could that be possible when Mulli failed to bring evidence of payment of the sum in question after he was ordered to do so within seven days (on 6th December 2012) which resulted in the counsel for the applicants filing a certificate of non compliance the respondent.

“Today, on 7th January 2013, no such documents have been filed,” Judge Madise observed.

He then overturned the dismissal of the two applicants by the applicant coupled with the respondents’ failure to obey the Appeal Court’s order of 6th December 2012.

“I, therefore, order that judgment on admission ought to have been and is hereby entered in the sum ofK5, 400, 322.86 plus VAT, plus interest at the commercial bank rate from February 2012 today. Cost,these are the exclusive preserve of the courts. I award costs of these proceedings to the Applicants,” determined Judge Madise.

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