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Sheriffs pounce on MTL over K1.6 billion debt

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Sheriffs in Mzuzu on Friday confiscated property belonging to Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) over costs amounting to a reported K1.6 billion the company owes Masters Security Company.

The costs came about after the security company sought legal redress over termination of contract which was supposed to run up to 2023.

Master Security was offering its services to MTL until November last year when the telecommunication company ended the contract.

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An internal memo dated March 12, 2021, that we have seen signed by MTL Chief Executive Officer, Harry Gombachika, indicate that at the time the contract was terminated they had no outstanding bills with the security company.

“The matter went for arbitration and the arbitrator ruled in favour of Masters Security Company. Consequently the company has been pursuing legal redress through the court system as well as administrative processes. At the time of terminating the contract, the company did not owe Masters any outstanding payment. Management sincerely regrets the inconvenience this case has caused to the company and would like to reassure the staff it is doing everything possible to resolve the matter. In the meantime I appeal to all staff to remain calm and abide by the company oath of secrecy,” reads the memo in part.

The sheriffs have confiscated all office equipment for MTL both commercial offices in Mzuzu including vehicles. Court documents we have seen indicate that MTL has up to 10 days to refund the money or else the property that has been confiscated will be sold.

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Masters Security Company, Managing Director, Alfred Gangata, confirmed the development yesterday but could not comment any further. Sources have however confided to The Sunday Times that MTL has obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court of Appeal stopping the security company from selling MTL’s vehicles.

The auction was scheduled for yesterday in Lilongwe. Meanwhile, the court has set March 23 for an inter-partes hearing on the stop order. Earlier this year the security company also impounded MTL cehicles from its headquarters in Blantyre.

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