The Commercial Court has asked Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Clement Chiwaya to honour a K12 million (about $17 620) debt accrued while purchasing a house in Lilongwe.
The seven-day period Commercial Court granted Chiwaya after a ruling on 1 December 2015, to pay a family which sold Chiwaya a house in Lilongwe or be declared bankrupt, has since expired; court documents have indicated.
Chiwaya yesterday confirmed owing the family the debt, but said he was now working on the payments to settle the matter through a separate agreement with the lawyers.
But the Deputy Speaker accused Nation Publications Limited (NPL) journalists of carrying out a campaign to oust him from his position following publication of articles by NPL newspapers that exposed a housing allowance scandal at Parliament involving him and Second Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje.
The two are accused of receiving housing allowances from Parliament while staying in their own houses.
Said Chiwaya: “What do you know? The lawyers and I have an agreement which we are pursuing. Let us talk when I am declared bankrupt. I am paying those lawyers what I can afford. That is my position; I know who is sending you to write such stories.”
According to court documents at the Commercial Court in Lilongwe seen by Nation on Sunday, Chiwaya has been ordered to pay Messrs Francis Franklin and Company K12 378 794.76 (about $18 176) plus interest at three percent above the bank lending rate.
According to the documents, the High Court of Malawi, Commercial Division has three times entered default judgments and orders against Chiwaya; namely on September 9 2015, October 23 2015 and November 23 2015 after Mcpherry Kumtembwe, administrator of Mary Kumtembwe, filed the claims.
“Whereupon no execution has been stayed, or you must secure or compound for the said sum to the satisfaction of the said agents or to the satisfaction of the court or you must satisfy the Court that you have a counterclaim,” reads part of the notice.
According to an affidavit by Mcpherry Kumtembwe, Chiwaya agreed to purchase property title no Alimaunde -49/1/921 in Area 49 in Lilongwe at K20 million (about $29 366) to be paid in two installments of K13 million and K7million, but the Deputy Speaker after paying the first installment, failed to pay the second one.
Kumtembwe says due to the failure to receive the payment, he has suffered business losses.
The development adds to Chiwaya woes, whom alongside Mcheka Chilenje have recently came under pressure following revelations that they pocketed housing allowances from Parliament while they were staying in their own houses.
Nation on Sunday could not immediately verify whether the house Chiwaya is being sued for is the same house which he resides in and whether connected to the house allowance scandal. n