Outspoken Mzimba Hora member of Parliament (MP) the Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira faces bankruptcy proceedings for failing to settle a K4.3 million debt he owes a Lilongwe-based businessperson who sold him a vehicle in 2013, court records indicate.
According to a statement of claim The Nation has seen dated July 30 2014, Ngwira has been failing to settle the debt since December 2013 when he bought a Nissan Caravan vehicle from Zakeyu Kauma valued at K4.3 million, but only paid K950 000 to date.
The bankruptcy notice filed with the court dated May 20 2015 indicates that the High Court in Lilongwe entered a judgement in January this year ordering Ngwira to pay Kauma the K4.3 million, but he has not complied.
Reads the notice: “Take notice that within seven days after service of this notice, excluding the day of such service, you must pay to Zakeyu Kauma or Messrs KD Freeman and Associates the sum of K4 355 000 claimed by Zakeyu Kauma as being the amount due and owing under judgment dated 26th January, 2015 obtained by the judgement creditor against you whereupon execution has not been stayed or you must secure or compound for the said sum to their satisfaction or to the satisfaction of their said agent.”
The notice further reads that the MP needed to prove he could counter-claim or cross-demand the amount equalling or exceeding the amount claimed by Kauma.
Ngwira’s lawyers have not responded to the bankruptcy notice, but if declared bankrupt, the MP risks losing his Mzimba Hora seat which he has held since 2009.
In an interview on Monday, Ngwira, who is former governing People’s Party (PP) provincial governor (North), described the notice as political gimmick.
He said his lawyers, Mzuzu-based Lameck & Company, were fighting the claim.
Said Ngwira: “This is a mere political gimmick to tarnish my image. Zakeyu didn’t tell the truth.”
According to electoral laws, a person is not eligible to contest for a parliamentary seat if the person is ‘an undischarged bankrupt having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in the Republic’ according to Section 51 (1) d of the Constitution.
So far, no MP has been declared bankrupt while in office. n