Glens Waterways Ltd rejects ‘cashgate’ claims, clears ex-Malawi First Gentleman

Glens Waterways Limited (GWL) has described a news article that appeared in The Nation of August 8, 2014, headlined ‘Kasambara takes on Mphwiyo’ as “malicious and false”.

The company also says there was “gross mispresentation” of facts concerning alleged payments made to GWL.

In the said article, the paper reported accused person Ralph Kasambara (in the attempted murder of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo) who  told the court that government lost cases of breach of contract and loss of business against Glens Waterways and Deco Terrastone and that the approval was given to pay out by him in 2012 before Mphwiyo was appointed budget director.

Retired Chief Justice and former First Gentleman, Richard Banda SC: Exonorated
Retired Chief Justice and former First Gentleman, Richard Banda SC: Exonorated

Mphwiyo had earlier told the court that he was being pressurized and eventually shot for declining to make dubious payments to companies.

The article also claimed that a ‘cut’ of K900 million was paid to Banda, Banda & Company (BB & Co) and that former Chief Justice Richard Banda is a partner in BB & Co.

But in a statement issued Tuesday,  GWL says it is “incorrect and outright malicious” for the paper to claim that the company was paid K5 billion.

“This sum is totally wrong. At no time such an amount was even discussed. The total sum assessed was to GWL loss of business, investment liabilities and assets handed over to Malawi Lake Services,” argues the company.

GWL took legal action against government in 2009 following unlawful breach of the concession for the operation of Malawi Lake Services under Commercial Case Number 49 of 2009.

Trial of the case took place on 15th December 2009, 22 and 24 February, 6th, 7th and 8th April 2010 partly in Blantyre and partly in Monkebay.

After full trial, the High Court, Commercial Division, through a judgment dated13th August 2010, ruled in favor of GWL and ordered government to pay GWL’s claim.

Payment is yet to be completed by government.

Pursuant to the court judgment, GWL took out notice for the court to assess compensation. At the request of government, the assessment was adjourned because government was of the view that the court having found it liable, they would rather negotiate on the amount of claim.

Towards the end of 2010, government even engaged certified Public Accountants to help it with assessing the claim.

Between the date of judgment and end 2011, GWL ‘pushed’ the court twice to assess the amount but government maintained that it did not want to proceed with court process when its liability had already been established.

After lengthy discussions lasting for over 18 months, government and Glens reached agreement on the claim that included loss of business and investment expenses of GWL.

The statement therefore refute claims that a ‘cut’ of K900 million was paid to Banda, Banda & Company (BB & Co) and that former Chief Justice Richard Banda is not a partner in BB & Co.

“This is totally wrong and malicious. BB & CO were lawyers for GWL and did not receive any compensation from government as a ‘cut’ or otherwise.

“The firm claimed its legal fees from GWL as entitled by law. Further we wish to clarify that retired Justice Richard Banda left the firm of BB & Co in 2008 when he was appointed Chief Justice of Swaziland,” says GWL.

The partners of BB & CO are Gracian Banda and Mauya Msuku, according to the statement.

“There is no truth in the allegation that retired Justice Richard Banda is or was a partner in BB & Co when the case against government was in court or even when the claim was assessed.

“The correct facts are shown in the court judgment. The allegations in ‘The Nation’ are malicious and false,” emphasized GWL.

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