Sheriffs on Tuesday impounded Salima District Council’s vehicle, a Nissan Hardbody, for failing to settle a K13 million fine as ordered by the court.
A document from the Sheriff of Malawi indicates that in 2010, the council constructed a factory under One Village One Product on a piece of land valued at K5 million, promising to compensate the owner.
However, since then, the council has not honoured the pledge, prompting the resident to sue the council and the court ordered it to pay about K13 million which has accrued interests over the years; hence; the seizure.
In an interview, Salima District Council spokesperson Grace Kapatuka admitted that sheriffs had seized the vehicle, but could not be drawn to explain as to what action the council will take to recover it.
She said: “In 2010, there was Maziko Cooperative in Salima which wanted to have a factory constructed for them by Ovop.
“By then the cooperative was operating from a rented building. So, they were asked to identify land and the council provided them a plot some 100 metres away from where they were renting.”
Kapatuka said the two parties were called for a meeting at the council where it was agreed that the council should construct a house for the land owner elsewhere which never happened.
“The owner then sued the council and the court ordered the council to pay K10 million in compensation which was not paid. So, sheriffs have seized our vehicle,” she said.
In another development, last month the council’s employees marched to the premises in protest against the council’s failure to pay them their wages.