High Court judge Charles Mkandawire Monday reserved his ruling on whether former president Peter Mutharika and former Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara should personally pay costs after the court faulted the two for forcing Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Supreme Court of Appeal judge Edward Twea to go on leave pending retirement.
The court was hearing arguments from Mutharika and Muhara’s lawyers and also from lawyers for Malawi Law Society (MLS), Human Rights Defenders Coalition (MLS) and Association of Magistrates in Malawi, who are demanding that the two should pay legal costs.
Lawyer representing MLS, HRDC and Association of Magistrates in Malawi, Khumbo Soko, said they want Mutharika and Muhara to personally pay the costs.
“The court has given an opportunity to Mutharika and Justice Muhara to make a presentation on why they shouldn’t personally bear the costs when it was them who made the unconstitutional decision,” Soko said.
He added that it would not be proper for the taxpayer to bear the costs.
“So given these extreme circumstances, it is just that the money that has been spent on this litigation should personally be paid by Justice Muhara and Mutharika,” Soko said.
The case has been adjourned to a later date.
Just before the court-sanctioned June 23 presidential election, Muhara wrote Nyirenda and Twea advising them to proceed on leave pending retirement on the premise that they had accumulated more leave days than those remaining on their contracts.
But the Judiciary protested what it called the Executive’s interference in affairs it had nothing to do with and challenged that the two judges were not going anywhere.