Premises of AHL Commodities Exchange Limited (AHCX) in Lilongwe remain sealed three weeks after the High Court in Blantyre unleashed sheriffs to confiscate property following the company’s failure to honour a court order to pay about K2 billion.
On March 14 2016, the High Court in Blantyre issued a warrant asking the sheriff to confiscate goods and chattels for AHL Commodities Exchange Limited after the company failed to pay K1.8 billion and K116.2 million to a company called Oil & Protein Company Limited.
Yesterday, The Nation visited the deserted premises and only found a security guard and few garden attendants idling.
The security guard, waken from a deep slumber in his guard room, said the offices were closed about three weeks ago and that the employees were now operating from different premises around Lilongwe.
An AHL Group source, to which AHCX is a subsidiary, said some of the staff were operating from AHCX warehouse offices at Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) along Paul Kagame Highway (formerly Chilambula Road) and others are working from AHL Group head office at Kanengo.
AHCX parovides a platform where buyers and sellers trade in agricultural commodities with an assurance on quality, delivery and payment.
AHCX general manager Davis Manyenje confirmed the sealing of the offices, but refused to divulge the reasons, saying the matter was in court.
He said: “We are challenging the ruling. We are appealing and we are just waiting for the court to give us a date. So, I cannot comment further.”
Manyenje said the development has affected his company as they cannot effectively operate as some of the documents needed are in the sealed offices.
“For example, we are failing to pay transporters that brought maize from Zambia because the vouchers and cheque books are in the sealed offices,” he said.
He also said the seal will also put in jeopardy the $250 million (K175 billion) deal his company was trying to broker with some international organisation that intended to buy produce in the country.
The warrant of execution issued by the High Court also asked AHCX to pay five percent as costs of execution.
The warrant reads in part: “You cause to be made the sum of K1 861 358 126.25 and $171 000 and which said sum of money was lately before me at the said High Court at Blantyre in the certain action wherein Oil & Protein Company Limited is the plaintiff and AHL Commodities Exchange Limited aforesaid is the defendant by judgment of the court bearing the date 11th day of March 2016 adjudged to be paid by the defendant to the said plaintiff with costs of execution and I farther command you that of the goods and chattels of the said defendant in Lilongwe, district.” n