Companies connected to businessman Leston Mulli have sued government, demanding K270 billion as compesation for loss of business.
The companies include Zao Marketing Agencies, Mulli Brothers Limited, Sunrise Pharmaceuticals Limited, Celcom Limited, National Bus Company Limited and Chombe Foods Limited.
The Joyce Banda admnistration in 2012 banned government ministries and departments from giving business to Mulli Holdings and Elvis Freight of Noel Masangwi.
The then Attorney General Ralph Kasambara wrote a memo to Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture confirming the directive. President Peter Mutharika’s government lifted the ban in 2014. Mulli claims he lost money over the two year period since government also stopped paying his companies for previous contracts.
However, government through Attorney General Charles Mhango has filed defence against the K270 billion compensation claim. “In the alternative and without prejudice to the foregoing statement of defence, the defendant denies that the claimants suffered the alleged loss of business in the total sum of K270,448,222,520.00 as damages for public misfeasance or at all and the defendant puts the claimant to strict proof of the alleged loss.
“In the further alternative and without prejudice to the foregoing statement of defence, the defendant denies that the letter dated 5th September 2012 affected the claimants’ dealings with third parties like banks and or the claimants’ employees as the letter of 5th September 2012 was not issued to any third parties and the claimants had no contract with the Malawi Government as exclusive suppliers of any goods and services to the Malawi Government or at all,” says the document dated October 11, 2018 and signed by Mhango.
Earlier this year, government paid Mulli K4 billion for loss of property during the 2011 nationwide protests.