Six companies have taken Malawi Government to court for failing to pay for K4.7 billion (about $18.8 million) worth of supplies which include police uniforms.
All the six companies have engaged Ralph and Arnold Associates legal firm which has already filed writs of summons to the Attorney General (AG) demanding payment of the money or a challenge to the claims.
The companies are Gratolite which is demanding K2 132 325 427 and SS Express Agencies which is claiming K85 424 500. Both supplied uniforms to the Malawi Police Service (MPS) which have not yet been paid for.
Other companies are Lido Electricals, which is demanding K8 900 570.38, Kasco Entreprises, which claims government owes it K1 383 637 314, African Commercial Agency which is demanding K812 356 336.71 and I&G Tools and Engineering which is claiming K46 015 200.
â€œBy a contract made between the plaintiff and MPS as evidenced by Local Purchase Orders Invoices and Delivery Notes herein, the plaintiff agreed to sell and deliver to the said service who agreed to purchase uniforms and assorted accessories at the total price of K85 414 500.
â€œYet, the said MPS have wrongfully failed and refused to the plaintiff the price of the said goodsâ€¦..,â€ reads a writ of summons from SS Express Agencies filed at the Commercial High Court under cause number 55 of 2012.
In all the writs of summons, the court gives the AG 21 days to respond to the summons.
â€œWe command you within 21 days after the service of this writ on you, inclusive of the day of service, you must either satisfy the claim or file with this court a defence and list of documents. If you do not intend to contest the proceedings, you must within 14 days after service of this writ on you, inclusive of the day of service, return the accompany of acknowledgment of service for the appropriate registry therein that you do not intend to contest the proceedings, but desire a stay of execution.â€
The court tells the AG that a judgment may be entered against him should he fail to satisfy the court demands.
Reads the summons: â€œTake notice that if you fail to satisfy the claim or file a defence and list of documents or return the acknowledgment within the time stated, or if you return the acknowledgement without stating therein an intention to contest the proceedings, the plaintiff may proceed with the action and judgment may be entered against you and forthwith without further notice.â€