Maize suppliers drag FRA to court


THREE maize suppliers have sued the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for non-payment of K200, 000 after they delivered more than 2, 540 x 50 kg bags of maize which the agency allegedly graded as rotten.

According to a statement of claim filed in the High Court, the trio claimed that FRA breached the contract and are now claiming damages.

Esther Mbewe of Chipata supplied 42 x 50 kg bags of maize valued at K29, 820.00; Stephen Mvula also of Chipata supplied 1,440 x 50 kg bags of maize worth K75, 000 while Margret Phiri of Kapiri Mposhi also supplied 1, 074 x 50 kg bags of maize valued at K100, 000.

The plaintiffs claimed that on diverse dates, they supplied maize as per respective agreements to FRA and through its agents namely Mr Paul Phiri, an inspector; and Mr Lewis Phiri a depot clerk received the grains and issued them with produce receipts and certification notes.

The trio said when payment for the supplied maize was due, FRA allegedly neglected and failed to pay them.

“The plaintiffs will aver that on diverse dates, they did approach the defendant to inquire into the payment, the defendant’s position was that the produce receipt and certification notes issued to the plaintiffs for the maize supplied were cancelled on allegation that the maize supplied by the plaintiff was rotten,” the statement read.

The suppliers said they are ready to prove in court that the maize supplied to FRA was not rotten.

They said by the contract set out, FRA had breached the agreement entered into with them.

The trio said FRA was liable as the suppliers have suffered loss and damages.

“Pursuant to the aforesaid facts, the defendant is liable to the plaintiff, the sums pleaded but the defendant has failed and/or refused to pay the plaintiffs the said sum or any part and the plaintiffs have accordingly suffered loss and damages in the said amounts,” the statement reads.

The plaintiffs said they were entitled to claim damages for breach of contract for supply and purchase of maize, interest and other benefits the court may deem fit.

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