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Admarc dragged to court over K650 million

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Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) is embroiled in a legal mess over unpaid K650 million after private firm Admike has dragged it to court demanding interest for supplying maize to the grain trader.

Last week, Admike got a freezing order on Admarc’s bank account, which was lifted on Friday.

Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Gladys Gondwe confirmed that the order was indeed granted.

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“The court granted the [bank account]-freezing injunction to Admike, a company that successfully sued Admarc for a sum of K652,360,000 being payment for maize supplied to Admarc, plus interest,” she said.

Admarc spokesperson Agnes Chikoko Ndovi confirmed the development but said the issue was being handled by the company’s lawyers.

“The order was short-lived. It was lifted on Friday; so, it is not going to affect our operations,” she said.

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Admike’s lawyers Ritz Attorneys at Law spokesperson Lozindaba Mbvundula declined to give details, saying they did not have instructions from their client to speak to the media.

The grain trader is struggling financially and, last year, it asked the government for a K300 billion bailout.

Speaking when Admarc launched its transformation agenda in August last year, the then Admarc acting chief executive officer Felix Jumbe said it was high time the institution stopped getting piecemeal funding if the new vision were to be achieved.

“Our biggest challenge is that there have not been deliberate programmes to capitalise Admarc. This has resulted in it operating from hand-to-mouth and, eventually, failing to deliver on its core mandate. If we acquire that [K300 billion capital], we can guarantee that Admarc will be able to sustain itself,” Jumbe said.

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