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Attorney General intervenes in ex-Shire Bus Lines employees issue

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Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda says he will assist ex-employees of the defunct Shire Bus Lines to get their proceeds from the remaining properties of the company, currently in the hands of Leston Mulli of National Bus Lines.

Nyirenda was commenting on a letter from the Public-Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) asking for his guidance on how the commission should deal with claims of the ex-employees, who are demanding their cut from the properties in question on account that they had 15 percent shareholding of the defunct Shire Bus Lines.

In the letter, PPPC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kabambe says the commission’s report shows that, indeed, the ex-employees had 15 percent shareholding of the company and that they have a right to raise the concern.

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“It is their claim that National Bus Company is making a lot of money from the purported ownership of the bus depots and they feel they have a right to be receiving a proportionate share of these revenues.

“I am aware, Honourable Attorney General, that you are already dealing with the matter regarding the manner in which National Bus Company acquired the assets of Shire Bus Lines. Nevertheless, I am compelled to bring the complaints raised by the ex-staff and to seek your guidance on how my office should handle the matter,” the letter reads.

Chakaka Nyirenda confirmed receiving the letter, saying his office will assist the ex-employees get their dues from the properties in question.

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“We have a legal obligation to assist them,” he said.

However, National Bus Company Managing Director Leston Mulli wondered why the ex-employees’ claims are coming out years after the company went into liquidation.

“I cannot say anything because I am hearing this from you. In any case, where were they all this time? When did we acquire those depots for them to be coming out this time? Anyway, they are all adults and, surely, they know what they should do to get what they want,” he said.

The AG has been challenging how National Bus Company took over the properties from the defunct Shire Bus Lines, which was in the process of liquidation, a development that would have affected Wenela, Lilongwe, Kasungu and Mzuzu Bus depots.

In February this year, Nyirenda told High Court Judge Jabbar Alide of the Commercial Division that no document supports the argument that the properties that were previously owned by Shire Bus Lines Limited were transferred to National Bus Services Limited by the Malawi Government or PPPC.

“Even if there were such documents, such transfer could be invalid as the Malawi Government or PPPC have not validly transferred the said property because they lacked legal title to the said property,” he said.

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