By Serah Chilora
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has sued National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) over the use of the controversial Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU) as one of the International Commercial Terms (incoterms).
Nocma adopted the DPU method after a High Court order and Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) directive restraining the oil-importing company from using the Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) system.
According to court documents, the High Court sitting in Lilongwe has given Nocma 28 days to respond to the matter.
“We command you, within 28 days after the service of the summons on you inclusive of the day of service, to either satisfy the claim or file with this court defence and list of documents.
“If you do not intend to contest the proceedings, you must within 14 days after service of these summons on you inclusive of the day of service [file a response], stating therein that you do not intend to contest the proceedings but desire a stay of enforcement, if any,” the court documents read.
Lawyer representing HRDC Shepher Mumba indicated that HRDC felt that the system was not transparent and that it was, therefore, prone to abuse.
“It is expensive; the cost of transportation, insurance and everything is, for example, not known. Essentially, it lacks accountability. Because there is a lack of transparency there is room for corruption. Another argument by HRDC is that this system also exports jobs to other people because the supplier decides who transports the fuel,” he said.
Norma Deputy Chief Executive Officer Helen Buluma said yesterday that she had received the court documents.
DPU has not impressed fuel transporters, who argue that it is similar to the DDU system they protested against as it favours foreign transporters.