By: Trifonia Chagoma
The High Court in Blantyre has sustained an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi Limited (MOAML) and Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) and all its agents from collecting toll fees on minibuses.
Conducting business related to the plaintiffs K and N Consult mandate and functions, on lot 5 of Blantyre City is restrained.
The business premises include Mibawa Minibus Terminal, Blantyre Bus Stands and Minibus Terminal opposite Blantyre Market until the final determination on the matter.
Blantyre City Council outsourced the services of K and N Consult through an open tender bidding process to be collecting parking fees.
However, MOAML stopped K and N Consult staff deployed to execute the contract on the lot.
K and N Consult obtained an injunction stopping MOAML from collecting parking fees until the court makes its determination on who has the mandate to collect the said fees.
Blantyre City Council (BCC) joined the case as a second complainant citing that it is the only legal body mandated by law to collect any levies. As such, BCC outsourced K and N Consult to collecting parking fees on its behalf.
MOAML moved the court to vacate the injunction so that it should continue collecting the fees.
However, in his ruling, High Court judge, Justice Rowland Bvundula sustained the injunction granted to K and N Consult.
Both sides in the case raised strong arguments and
“As earlier stated, delved into issues touching on the substantive dispute itself and I am of the view that relative strengths this far are more or less even.
I would be of the view, in the premises, that, in accordance with the principles set out in American Cynamid Company v Ethicon Ltd (1975) AC 396 this is a case where status quo should be maintained, namely that the order of injunction should subsist until the determination of the action,” reads the ruling in part.
According to Blantyre City Public Relations Officer, Anthony Kasunda, K and N Consult is the only legally mandated company to collect parking fees at Mibawa Minibus Terminal, Blantyre Bus Stands and Minibus Terminal opposite Blantyre Market on behalf of the Council until the determination of the matter by the Court.