The High Court of Malawi has set December 15 2021 as the date it will hear an application by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) challenging the procurement system for fuel imports into the country.
Court documents show that High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda on December 8 2021 granted permission to HRDC to apply for a judicial review.
The judge directed that HRDC as well as National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) will be heard on December 15 on the issue.
Initially, HRDC wanted an order stopping Nocma from implementing the delivered at place uploaded (DPU) system instead of ex-tank.
In an interview yesterday, lawyer representing HRDC, Shepher Mumba, said he received instruction from his client to review Nocma’s decision to use DPU because it was similar to delivered duty unpaid (DDU) allegedly lacks transparency and affects the price of fuel.
In August this year, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma gave Nocma permission to proceed with awarding of contracts and to follow the ex-tank method following a High Court decision that granted Fuel Tankers Operators Association (FTOA) an injunction restraining the oil company from using DDU method of importing fuel into the country.
FTOA described the system as illegal and a contravention of regulations as suppliers of fuel are contracted to transport the commodity from the ports and deliver into Malawi.
DDU and ex-tank were the only procurement systems used before Nocma brought DPU into the picture.
DDU refers to a system where the supplier assumes all the risks for delivery of the product from external depots at the ports to various internal depots in the country.
On the other hand, DPU, initially known as delivered at terminal (DAT), is a system where the seller assumes all costs and risks until the goods are offloaded at the agreed named place of destination. The buyer is responsible for import customs formalities.