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Contractor sues Peter Mutharika for K135 million

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Lilongwe-based businessman Gilliat Samudeni Bonongwe, trading under the name Bonongwe Building Construction, has dragged former president Peter Mutharika to the High Court’s Commercial Division for breach of contract and failure to honour payment.

According to court documents dated October 30 2020, signed by the claimant’ lawyers Messrs Clarkes Attorneys, Bonongwe is demanding K135 million from the ex-president.

The summons reads in part: “We command you within 28 days after the service of this summons on you…, you must either satisfy the claim or file with this court a defence and list of documents.

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“If you do not intend to contest the proceedings you must within 14 days after service of this summons on you… if you return the response without stating the intention to contest the proceedings, the claimant may proceed with the claim and judgement may be entered against you without further notice,”

Lawyer representing Bonongwe, Khwima Mchizi, said they had instituted the process while lawyers representing Peter Mutharika, Tembenu and Masumbu, did not respond to The Daily Times queries.

In his written affidavit, Bonongwe claims that, in 2018, Mutharika, through his aide Norman Chisale, engaged his company Bonongwe Building Construction in several housing projects.

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Bonongwe claims that, from July 2020, his company has been involved in construction of the former president’s houses in Mangochi, Mapanga and Nyambadwe in Blantyre and Area 43 in Lilongwe to the tune of K165 million.

Bonongwe claims that he orally entered into an agreement with the former president to provide building materials for implementation of the project, and pay monthly salaries for labourers engaged in the projects on understanding that he would raise the bill at the end of the projects.

Bonongwe claims that the ex-president has only managed to pay K30 million and has not paid the outstanding sum of K135 million despite the contractor’s efforts to get the money.

The contractor is, therefore, demanding payment of K135 million, at an interest rate of three percent, and damages for breach of contract and legal costs.

Meanwhile, the High Court has given Mutharika 28 days to either satisfy the claim or file defense.

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