BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The High Court in Blantyre has dismissed with costs Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) application to stop court proceedings by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) as it seeks to recover over MK1.4 billion from the company.
RBM through lawyer and Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda dragged MBL to court claiming a balance of K1 401 989 682.71 from a K2.1 billion loan the company got to facilitate supply of fertilizer to government under the Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in 2019.
RBM further demanded interest at five percent from March 1, 2021, when it commenced the action.
Court records show that MBL only paid back K709.6 million by December 20, 2020, when the company was supposed to finalize servicing the loan, but instead they failed, refused or neglected to pay RBM K1 401 989 682.71.
Through his lawyer Wanangwa Hara, MBL Managing Director Leston Mulli argued that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case because the applicable law in respect of the facility agreement and letters of credit were based on Law of England.
Mulli Brothers wanted the court to stop the court proceedings until the matter goes for arbitration.
But in his judgement dated June 15, 2022, Judge Jabbar Alide said while arbitration was one of dispute resolution mechanisms in the agreement, Mulli Brothers did not show willingness to take necessary steps for the arbitration to take place.
Alide said the court was satisfied that there was a valid arbitration agreement binding the parties to the facility agreement and that MB did not surrender to the jurisdiction of the Court after making an appearance in the matter.
“In my view, the current application has failed to demonstrate that MBL was, at the time the proceedings were commenced, and that it still remains, ready and willing to do all the necessary things for the proper conduct of the arbitration. On this basis, I decline the application in its entirety,” reads part of the ruling dated June 15, 2022.
On Mulli’s plea that the Court should decline jurisdiction of the matter, Justice Alide said; “the fact that the parties agreed that the applicable law, in respect of the facility agreement, was the law of England does not oust the jurisdiction of this court to hear and determine this action.”
He then ordered MBL to file defence within seven days then the matter shall proceed for mediation.
Judge Alide therefore awarded costs to central bank.