High Court in Mzuzu has ordered Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) to pay Lunyina Haulage K9.4 million (about $28 000) as an outstanding debt, including value added tax (VAT) and interest.

Lunyina Haulage, through lawyer Mustafa Amidu, took MBL to court for allegedly failing to pay K5 400 322.86 (about $16 000) after being sub-contracted in the 2010/11 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).

Reads the judgement by High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise on Monday: “This court finds that the learned registrar erred in dismissing the application for judgement on admission on mere speculation that the respondents might have paid the sum in question in full. That must be overturned coupled with the respondents’ failure to obey the appeal court’s order of 6 December 2012.

“I, therefore, order that judgement on admission ought to have been and is hereby entered in the sum of K5 400 322.86 plus VAT, plus interest at the commercial bank rate from February 2012 to date. I award costs of these proceedings to the applicants.”

According to the court order, MBL on September 26 2011 sub-contracted Lunyina Haulage to transport fertiliser to distribution and selling points in the Northern Region to the tune of K11 697 478 (about $34 400).

The money was to be paid in full by February 2012 with the last invoice having been submitted to the respondents in January 2012.

However, MBL, despite alleged reminders from February 2012 to date, allegedly neglected to pay.

Further reads the order: “They only paid K2 000 000 (about $5 882) on 27th April 2012 and another K2 000 000 on 31st May 2012, thereby reducing the contract sum debt from K11 697 478 (about $34 400) to K7 697 478 (about $22 639).

“It was not a term of the sub-contract that the contract sum would be paid by instalments. The applicant, therefore, claimed the following: the said sum of K7 697 478; interest on the said sum at the current commercial banks.”

Amidu said besides the two K2 million (about $5 882) installments, MBL paid K2 297 156 (about $6 756) in bits. The payments were in the range of K100 000 (about $294) to K400 000 (about $1 176).

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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