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Government demands K10 million legal fees from Cdedi

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CHAKAKA NYIRENDA— We are
demanding a modest sum

The government is demanding K10 million from the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) as legal costs in the case where the organisation and journalist Mundango Nyirenda wanted the High Court to stop the Ministry of Health from rolling out a mandatory Covid vaccination campaign.

Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda confirmed the development Wednesday, further indicating that the two parties were still negotiating.

“We are negotiating with Cdedi on the costs. We are demanding a modest sum of K10 million,” he said.

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Chakaka Nyirenda said the matter would be brought before the office of the Registrar of the High Court if they fail to agree.

Three weeks ago, the High Court sitting in Lilongwe threw out the application for judicial review after Cdedi Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa and Nyirenda sought its intervention.

The court said the application failed to show a fit case for further investigation in the proposed judicial review.

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Cdedi and Nyirenda’s lawyer Oscar Taulo Wednesday said the parties were still negotiating as the office of the AG was yet to furnish them with an official letter.

“They are supposed to write us for us to respond. The AG mentioned the amount but we want to respond to something that is in written form,” he said.

The two asked the court to rule that the decision by the Ministry of Health to introduce mandatory vaccination by January this year to public servants, front line workers and social workers including journalists was unreasonable.

They also argued that the declaration to administer the vaccine without citizens’ free and informed consent was illegal.

But the AG said the two were just trouble-makers who were not better placed to represent Malawians on health matters.

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