BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Businessman Elvis Nserebo has disclosed that owner of Maranatha Boys Academy, Ernest Kaonga, used altered documents in court as evidence to support his claim that he paid Matindi Academy MK240m to secure a ten year lease.
Nserebo, who produced summons from Matindi Academy dated August 6, 2021 from Blantyre Commercial Division Court (Commercial Case No. 285 of 2021) and the Lease Agreement between Matindi and Maranatha, denied receiving such an amount from Kaonga.
The lease agreement has three contractual clauses as follows: Maranatha Boys Academy to pay rentals direct to Matindi Academy through its representatives and assignees, rentals for the entire lease period shall be at the rate of MK2 million per month.
The agreement further says the tenant shall pay the full rental for the lease period in advance by paying the sum of MK40 million per school term for six consecutive terms.
Rentals shall be payable within 30 days after commencement of a school term.
Additionally, the agreement states that if the rent hereby reserved or any part thereof shall not be paid within 30 (thirty) days of becoming due whether formally demanded or not or if any covenant or condition on the tenant’s part hereinbefore shall not be performed or observed, it shall be lawful for the landlord or its agent at any time thereafter to enter the demised premises or any part thereof in the name of the whole and hereupon this demise shall absolutely determine, but without prejudice to the right of action of the landlord in respect of any antecedent breach of any of the said covenants and conditions, the total cost of which, including legal expenses, client’s own fees and sheriff fees, shall be borne by the tenant.
According to the documents, the lease agreement was signed on August 22, 2018 with September 1 2018 as its commencement date.
The lease agreement we have seen indicates that rentals were to be fully paid by September 30, 2020.
Court records show that rentals were still not cleared as in August 2021.
This prompted Nserebo, as the landlord, to terminate the agreement in exercise of his rights as provided for in Clause 7 (a).
The Lease Agreement was terminated followed by sheriffs who closed the premises upon receipt of a warrant of distress from the landlord’s lawyers.
Maranatha Boys Academy tried to seek a court relief by way of an injunction to stop the execution of the warrant of distress, the Blantyre Commercial Division Court rebuffed them.
On 25th August 2021, Alex Kachanga (on his own behalf and as his litigation guardian for Pachalo Kaunda and three other obtained an injunction from Lilongwe High Court (Civil Cause No 674 of 2021) ordering Matindi Academy to reopen the campus and allow students to use for final MANEB examinations and also ordered Maranatha Boys Academy to meet its obligations under the lease agreement.
On 25th August 2021, Maranatha Boys Academy filed its defence to the summons in Commercial Case no 285 of 2021 at Blantyre Commercial Division.
According to the documents we have seen, Kaonga made the payments via Airtel Money altered from a total of K350, 000.00 to K9, 860,000.00.
Based on this exhibit, four figures are allegedly and visibly made to add to MK9, 860, 000 as follows:
Figure number 1 was originally K200, 000 but soon after letter “a”, there is an attempt to put a figure “4” and figure “0” was changed to look like “6” and the total figure now reads MK4, 260,000.00 from a mere MK200,000.00 that was sent on Airtel Money.
Figure number 2 has a figure 4 added after letter “a” to make it MK4, 100,000.00 from MK100, 000.00
Figure number 3 has and attempted figure “1” added to it to read K150, 000.00 from MK50, 000.00
The original author looks like the intention was to add 200,000 + 100,000 + 50,000 to make a total of K350, 000 which can be paid via Airtel Money capacity in Malawi.
We could not reconcile the figures as there were numerous alterations to make up the payment which maybe alleged not to have been made and there is serious struggle to make dates matching the last date to pay the K240m, which was according to Clause 3 (a) was 30th September 2020.
The originator of the proof of payment struggled with signatures of the tenant.
Maranatha Boys Academy’s proof visible assignees and direct payments dated after 30th September 2020 such as (a) Billy Tewesa paid on 7th July 2021 past the agreed period (MK3.5 million), (b) Jackson Alfonso (MK3.5 million) paid on July 4, 2021 and many more of such.
However, Nserebo refused to comment much, saying that matter is in court because he does not believe in social media stories and his main focus now is on the matter in court because social media has never been a court and will never be.
He added that people use social media to damage others for evil intentions but truth always prevails after time though.
He asked the public not to use social as a tool to judge others when Malawi has competent and credible courts readily available when disputes occur.
Asked whether he will sue the defamatory remarks by his tenant in social media, he just said time will tell, he would rather waste his energy on the substantive matter currently in court than answering to social media paid up stories to tarnish his image.
“My silence does not mean stupidity. Time will come when the public will know the truth,” he said.
According to the agreement, the landlord has the liberty following clause number 7 (a) to take back the premises and use it for any purpose that they deem fit.