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Hellen Buluma sued for contempt

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Fuel Tankers Operators Association has dragged National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) and its deputy chief executive officer Hellen Buluma to court for contempt.

They accuse the company and Buluma of disregarding a court order on the method to be used in 2021 fuel importation deals.

According to submissions filed by Fuel Tankers Operators Association member Smart Kalua, Buluma disobeyed the injunction the court granted on April 26 2021 by using the Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU) incoterm in awarding 2021 fuel supply contracts, a method, he claims, is similar to the Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) which the court restrained.

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The application for the committal of contempt has Nocma as the first respondent and Buluma as the second respondent.

The hearing of the application is slated for March 2 2022 before Judge Charlotte Wezi Malonda.

“Take note that the court can impose imprisonment or a fine or both for contempt of court and may deal with the application in the absence of the second respondent/the alleged contemnor if she does not attend the hearing of the application,” reads a court document dated February 9 2022.

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In his submissions, Kalua says, following the April 26 2021 injunction, the only way for Nocma to import fuel into Malawi was using an ex-tank incoterm.

Kalua further claims that, in a letter dated August 16 2021, ACB Director General Martha Chizuma expressed, in clear terms, the graft bursting body’s understanding of the injunction.

“Instead of using the Ex-Tank incoterm in the importation of the fuel, the first respondent started using the Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU) incoterm. The DPU incoterm means that the goods must be delivered to a named destination.

“The seller is in control of the goods up to that named place and the buyer takes charge. To this extent, the DPU incoterm is similar to DDU that was replaced by DAP,” Kalua says.

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