Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has moved in to stop an impending payment of $6 million by government to SF International who earlier won a default judgement to be compensated due to delayed payments for services rendered.
Malawi Gazette has learnt that on November 4, 2021 SF International owner, Shiraz Ferreira, sued government claiming US$6, 942,359.49 (K5.5 billion). He claimed this amount saying that government had delayed his payments for the supply of various military equipment.
In addition, Ferreira also claimed the sum of US$208,270.78 (around K167 million) as costs for the process of following up the money with government.
The Attorney General had earlier filed his defence against the claim but Ferreira was quick to obtain a default judgement. Nyirenda, however, moved the courts again challenging the default judgement saying it was irregular in that a final judgment was entered instead of an interlocutory judgement.
The default judgment was ultimately set aside by consent early this month.
Government has argued that the claim of interest by Shiraz purposefully concealed the period from which the interest calculations started and at what rate.
On legal principles pertaining to a claim for interest, the date from which interest is payable must be specified so too is the basis for the claim for interest.
All that was done while taking a chance of avoiding interest guidelines encapsulated in the Courts Act. The said Courts Act actually says that payable interest ought to be from the date of the judgment up to the date of payment.
Since he assumed office, Nyirenda has deployed corrective measures to secure government funds in several shady high profile deals worth billions. Most of these deals were signed during the previous Democratic Progressive Party regime under Peter Mutharika.
Last year the Attorney General indicated that he was targeting to recover about K50 billion every quarter from the suspension of business deals, and that his office was committed to recovering monies which ministries, departments and agencies paid to firms for goods and services that were not delivered to the contracting entities.