Admarc has engaged its legal team to prepare for a case in which a Zambian private company is demanding K2.2 billion ($3 000 000) in a 2016 controversial maize deal.
The development comes after the High Court in Zambia’s Commercial Registry, on January 15 2020 granted Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited, leave to sue the State grain marketer for breach of contract, according to court documents we have seen.
It is not known when the case will come up for hearing but Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) chief executive officer Felix Jumbe, in a telephone interview on Wednesday, said the legal team has been tasked to work on the summons, but he was quick to add that Admarc is of the view that there is no substance for a case.
Jumbe, however, refused to divulge more information, saying it may give the plaintiff an upper hand in the case.
“Let’s wait for the lawyers to surprise each other in the courts,” he added.
Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited dragged Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) to court as the first defendant, while Admarc was added along the way as the second defendant, according to an affidavit signed by Kaloswe chief executive officer Isaac Kapambwe.
According to a court ruling dated January 15 2020, which Weekend Nation has seen, the High Court granted the plaintiff leave to serve an amended writ of summons and a statement of claim on Admarc.
In an interview, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Pilirani Masanjala observed that legally, government is not aware of the case since it is in Zambia and Admarc is representing itself in the case.
“So, we await the process that is underway,” he said.
Admarc entered into a contract with the Zambian firm in June 2016 to supply 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize. But Kaloswe did not have enough maize at hand and resorted to buying the extra maize from the Zambian Cooperative Federation (ZCF).
When Admarc discovered Kaloswe’s inadequacies, it cancelled the deal and signed a fresh one with ZCF.
Kaloswe then applied for ZCF from “spending, transferring, administering or dealing with the funds that Admarc through PTA bank paid into its (ZCF) account in respect of the maize purchase and supply to Malawi”.court order restraining
Admarc reportedly paid about K26 billion, which government borrowed from the PTA Bank for the purchase of the maize. This amount is about K9.5 billion more than the estimated K15 billion Admarc could have paid had it bought the maize directly from the Zambian government.