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Zameer Karim fails to pay government K6.2 billion

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Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda

Businessman Zameer Karim is yet to pay the Malawi Government K6.2 billion which the High Court ordered him to pay two weeks ago, Attorney General (AG) Thabo Nyirenda confirmed Sunday.

The AG said his office was working on something to deal with Karim following revelations that he was already declared bankrupt.

On March 16 2022, the High Court gave Karim seven days to pay the Malawi Government K6.189 billion after failing to honour a November 13 2020 court judgement to pay K2.3 billion in connection with the Malawi Police Service food rations contract.

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Nyirenda signed the Endorsement of Notice on March 11 2022.

Of the K6.189 billion, K3.824 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.

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“..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.

But asked yesterday as to what government would do next to get the money, Nyirenda said: “Just watch this space. We are working on something and you will see action shortly”.

In his endorsement of the bankruptcy notice two weeks ago, Chakaka Nyirenda said if Karim failed to comply with the order, he would have 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 AG’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.

The government, which had already paid Karim his money, then sued him through the AG for making Capital Hill pay twice in the matter.

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