A Blantyre-based businessperson Harry Thindwa has dragged National Bank of Malawi (NBM) to court, claiming K45 million (about $132 000) for wrongful seizure of his truck.
But the bank has since challenged Thindwa’s claim.
According to Thindwa, the vehicle was seized as it was fulfilling a two-year contract he entered with Katundu Haulage at a monthly fee of K1.9 million (about $55 882).
The K45.6 million (about $1.3m) claim, Thindwa argues, is the value of the residue of the contract with Katundu Haulage which was terminated because of the seizure of the motor vehicle, Man Diesel registration NA3685.
He has since pleaded with the High Court (Commercial Division) in cause number 148 of 2012 that he does not have any liability with National Bank and as such there was no legal basis for the seizure of the vehicle. He is also claiming 9.1 percent interest and the cost of the court proceedings.
But in its defence, NBM denies it wrongfully seized the vehicle and the alleged resultant loss and damages.
It also denies the existence of any contract between Thindwa and Katundu Haulage.
“The defendant [NB]will contend that the contract with Katundu Haulage is a sham and fabricated one and will demand strict proof of the existence of the contract and operations of the seized motor vehicle on the alleged contract.
“The defendant will further contend that it seized the said motor vehicle for only five or six days and such a seizure could not have caused Katundu Haulage to terminate the alleged contract with the plaintiffs [Thindwa and Wandiya Thindwa],” argues NBM in their defence.
The bank says it knows Wandiya Thindwa as one who trades as Tahama Enterprises with whom it entered into a master lease agreement.
Through the agreement, the bank granted a sale and lease back facility of K3 million (about $8 823). The facility was secured by trucks Leyland DAF and an Isuzu Giga.
The bank argues that by August 30 2012 the plaintiff defaulted in the payment of the instalments on lease agreement resulting in the account balance of K2 755 202 (about $8 103) which included arrears of K469 548 (about $1 381). The arrears represented over a three-month non-payment of instalments.