IN THE HIGH COURT OF MALAWI
CIVIL CAUSE NO.
848 OF 2000
SMALLHOLDER COFFEE AUTHORITY
CORAM: HIS HONOUR,
Mr. Chilenga of Counsel for the plaintiff
R U L I N G
This is an application for Summary Judgment and
also for judgment on admission pursuant to Order 14 and Order 27 of
the of the
Rules of the Supreme Court. The application is supported
by an affidavit deponed by Mr. Marshall Chilenga, a legal
who represents the plaintiff. The notice of adjournment
was served on the defendant and there is an affidavit of proof of
The defendants have not come to oppose the matter. There
is no reason given for such a failure. I therefore went ahead to
the plaintiffs Counsel in the absence of the defendant.
Chilenga argued this case, he fully adopted the contents of his
affidavit. The background of the case is that the plaintiff
supplied hessian clothes and bunny bags to the defendant and there
are exhibited LPOs and invoices marked MC1. In their
dated the 2nd of
October 2002, the defendant wrote the plaintiff that they were
willing to settle the debt. This letter is marked as exhibit
The defendant in response to the Summons issued against them wrote
back through MC3 that they would be paying
for those amounts
genuinely owing to the plaintiff.
I have looked at the
affidavits and the documents in support of this application. In the
first place, I would like to state that
for there to be a summary
judgment entered, the evidence on record should show that it would
just be a waste of time for the matter
to go for hearing. Summary
judgment is appropriate where the Court can see for itself that the
defendant has got no plausible
defence and that the plaintiff should
not be delayed to have judgment and enjoy the fruits of litigation.
I also note that in
order for the Court to enter judgment on admission, the admission
being referred to must be unequivocal.
I have looked at the
case at hand. The letter referred to as MC2 is in my view very
clear. The defendants admitted that
the invoices plus the L.P.Os
forwarded to them were only worth K90,004.00 and not K162,004.90.
They therefore in that very letter
requested the plaintiff to justify
the figure of K162,004:90. When the plaintiff issued the writ of
Summons, indeed the defendant
replied through MC3 that they
would only pay for the balance genuinely outstanding. It appears to
me that the plaintiff
have not supplied the defendants with other
L.P.Os and invoices in order to justify the figure of K162,004:90.
I therefore find that
what the defendant had unequivocally admitted to is the figure of
K90,004:00. I do enter judgment on admission
for that amount plus
15% as collection charges which are a legal obligation. As for the
difference, I do not find any justification
to enter judgment on
because I do not think
that the defendant had made any clear-cut admission. I would also
not enter summary judgment as the matter
is subject to the plaintiff
substantiating their claim. I do award costs to the plaintiff.
IN CHAMBERS this 4th
day of September 2001 at Lilongwe.