Six Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) vehicles are up for grabs after the High Court in Blantyre vacated an injunction the commission obtained restraining sheriffs from selling the vehicles.
Last month, MEC obtained a stay order against sheriffs to put the vehicles on the market after the electoral body failed to settle its debts with three service providers amounting to about K90 million.
The Sheriff of Malawi impounded the six vehicles on March 15 this year after the three companies—Universal Trading Company, Platinum Solutions and Transworld Radio—dragged MEC to court.
However, the creditors applied for vacation of the stay order which the court granted, thus giving the sheriffs authority to carry on with the auction.
The commission owes Universal Trading Company about K80 million, Platinum Solutions about K9.9 million while Transworld Radio is owed about K1 million.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula yesterday confirmed the vacation of the stay order, saying sheriffs were set to put the six runner vehicles under the hammer this Friday.
The debt is part of the millions MEC owes several firms which provided various services during the May 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Mvula said sheriffs would auction the six vehicles throughn
Trust Auctioneers and Estate Agents in Blantyre.
“The creditors successfully managed to have the stay order vacated. This means all the six vehicles are now up for auction. So tomorrow, prospective bidders will be viewing the vehicles at the Sheriff of Malawi [High Court premises] before the actual public sale on Friday,” said Mvula.
The vehicles include three 10-tonne Nissan UD vans registration BQ 901, BQ 902 and BQ 892, Toyota Caravan minibus registration BP 9523 and two Nissan Patrols registration BP 9529 and BP 9525.
Besides the six vehicles, sheriffs also confiscated several computer sets and other office equipment from the commission, but Mvula said these will not be put on auction because their stay order is still valid.
Towards the end of last year, the High Court ordered the commission to pay the K90 million in services rendered by the three firms but MEC failed to comply with the order, prompting the court to issue a warrant of execution.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa did not pick his phone after several attempts to call him yesterday, but in an earlier interview he told The Nation the commission was working on how to deal with the matter.
“We requested Treasury to bail us out. That has not happened yet because we are still engaged in talks with government and those discussions have not concluded,” Mwafulirwa said last month.
MEC’s accrued debts and subsequent seizure of its fleet of vehicles comes at a time some of its major donors expressed dismay and indicated that they have lost confidence in some of its top officials. n