Sheriffs in Blantyre last week seized four vehicles belonging to MBL Holdings Limited in order to execute payment of over K27 million (about $108 000) in legal fees and compensation.
MBL Holdings Limited was engaged in a land dispute with Mary Woodworth and Lisinet Gremu over Chitakale Plantations in Mulanje, a subsidiary of MBL Holdings. The case was won by the two defendants.
MBL Holdings Limited chairperson and group chief executive officer Leston Mulli on Tuesday said he was not aware of the seizure. He accused The Nation of damaging his reputation.
Said Mulli: “I am tired of reports about Mulli. You should not be calling me to ask this. If you want to write, just write. Should it be a crime to do business and succeed?”
Court records show that Supreme Court of Malawi and High Court assistant registrar Mike Tembo ruled in November last year that MBL Holdings should pay legal fees to the two women amounting to K18 million and an additional K9 million to them as compensation for the loss of use on their land.
The sheriffs seized the vehicles over MBLâ€™s failure to pay the money. The court also subsequently rejected an application for a stay order for the execution of the taxed costs pending a review of the taxation proceedings after the company failed to pay K2.8 million sheriff fees.
High Court Judge Healey Potaniâ€™s determination reads: “Having considered the matter, I have a very strong inclination that their application be sent for an inter partes hearing and perhaps the sheriff might also want to be heard.”
The records also show that a review hearing on Wednesday before deputy registrar Austin Msowoya was struck out following failure by MBL Holdings lawyers to file appropriate papers.
According to the records, procedures include putting in writing objections to the taxation which should be brought to the attention of the other side 21 days before the date of hearing. The objections should also come before the registrar who declared the first taxation.
In November 2009, the High Court in Blantyre evicted Chitakale Plantations from a piece of land the company claimed to own. The court ordered it to pull down structures it put up on the disputed land and compensate the real owners (Woodworth and Gremu) for damaged crops.