Sheriffs of Malawi boss Peter Mlauzi has been summoned to appear before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Lilongwe on Tuesday for contempt of court following his failure to execute a High Court Order.
Mlauzi is being dragged to court by a South Africa based company, Universal Kit Suppliers, due to his defiance in executing an Order that commanded him to pounce on Malawi Prison Service (MPS) and seize properties to compel the institution settle a U$1 140 515.00 (about K838 million) debt owed to the company.
Universal Kit Suppliers, being represented by lawyer Tamando Chokotho in the matter, supplied uniforms to MPS, and they managed to obtain an execution order and paid K389, 320.00 to the Sheriffs of Malawi to facilitate seizure of MPS properties, mostly motor vehicles.
MPS once tried to use the Attorney General (AG), Kalekeni Kaphale to appeal against the execution order but the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Lovemore Chikopa dismissed the appeal, effectively allowing enforcement of the order, which Mlauzi has been ignoring.
Universal Kit Suppliers has since, through Chokotho, filed for contempt of court charge against Mlauzi, and the case commences on Tuesday.
Mlauzi is expected to be defended by the AG in a matter to be presided over by Justice Ken Manda, and risks face jail term should the State team put up a mediocre work and fail to justify to the court why he failed to execute the court order.
Chokotho, lawyer for the private firm, in a sworn affidavit demanded of the Sheriff of Malawi boss to provide an account how he used K389, 320.00 that was collected from his client for enforcement of the execution order.
The lawyer said Mlauzi did not comply, adding that a false execution list was produced because it transpired that some vehicles the Malawi Sheriffs claimed were seized, were being seen being driven and used by MPS officials.
Kaphale admitted in his application against the execution order that MPS indeed owed Universal Kit Suppliers the money but indicated that government was against the proposition to enforce the judgment by way of execution.
The AG feared that if the judgment was executed prior to the determination of the appeals, it was going to have far reaching effects on the public purse and was going to open floodgates of numerous litigations who were going to apply for execution of judgment against government.
But Justice Chikopa observed that the AG was not worried about execution but what effect that process would have on other government’s creditors.
The Attorney General has lately been overwhelmed with cases of defending senior government officials following disobedience of clear court orders.
On March 23rd, the AG’s chamber goes to court to defend Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia and Inspector General of Police (IG), Lexter Kachama from being jailed.
A few days ago High Court judge Healy Potani granted leave to Africa Commercial Agency to start proceedings to commit Chiumia and Kachama to prison for their failure to obey the court order that demanded them to facilitate movement of goods meant for Malawi Police Service from Mozambique to Malawi.
There are several other contempt of court matters against government and Malawi Law Society (MLS) which once rebuked government for its continuous disobedience of duly issued court orders.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :