Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has said businessman Zameer Karim is not off the hook following his failure to pay the government K6.2 billion after a court ordered him to do so early this year.
According to Nyirenda, his office is exploring legal options on the matter.
“We are working on something to be filed with the court,” Nyirenda said Monday.
In March this year, the High Court gave Karim seven days to pay the Malawi Government K6.18 billion after he failed to honour a November 13 2020 court judgement to pay K2.3 billion in connection with the Malawi Police Service food rations contract.
Of the K6.18 billion, K3.8 billion is interest accrued on the ordered amount.
“Take notice that within seven days after service of this notice on you, excluding the day of such service, you must pay to the Attorney General (Malawi Police Service) care of Ministry of Justice, Private Bag 333, Lilongwe 3, the sum of K2, 365, 320,994.03 .
“…Being indemnity claimed by the Attorney General (Malawi Police Service) as being the amount due and owing under a judgement dated 13th November 2020 obtained by the Judgement Creditor against you in the court and the sum of K3, 824,148,217.81 representing interest due and owing to the Attorney General (Malawi Police Service) whereupon execution hasn’t been stayed, or you must secure or compound for the said sum to their satisfaction or the satisfaction of their said agent or to the satisfaction of the court,” reads a Bankruptcy Notice issued by High Court Judge Anabel Mtalimanja.
In his endorsement of a bankruptcy notice two weeks ago, Nyirenda says failure to comply with the order would mean Karim has committed an act of bankruptcy, on which bankruptcy proceedings may be taken against him.
“If, however, you have a counter-claim, set-off or cross demand which equals or exceeds the amount claimed by the Attorney General (Malawi Police Service) in respect of the judgement or order and which you could not set up in the action or other proceedings in which the said judgement or order was obtained, you must within 14 days apply to the court to set aside this Notice by filing with the Registrar a Sworn Statement to the above effect,” Nyirenda said.
According to court records, the Malawi Police Service entered into a contract with Karim’s Pioneer Investments to supply 500,000 food ration packs at about K2.1 billion.
But Karim, according to court documents, did not have sufficient funds to execute the contract; hence, he approached CDH Investment Bank Limited to provide K700 million. One of the conditions was an agreement of assignment of proceeds under the contract to CDH Investment Bank.
In 2017, CDH Investment Bank sued the Attorney General’s office and the Malawi Government was made to pay about K2.3 billion which included the loan Karim obtained from the bank, interest and some collection fees.
Government, which had already paid Karim his money, then sued him through the Attorney General for making Capital Hill pay twice in the matter.