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Government sues Kenyan law firm

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The Malawi Government has said it has taken to court a Kenyan law firm that was engaged to oversee and rehabilitate Malawi Government’s property in Nairobi, Kenya.

Malawi Government wants to recover $500, 000 (about K360 million) which was “erroneously” paid to the firm through suspicious cash claims.

Attorney General Charles Mhango said in an interview on Friday the Government of Malawi instructed another Kenyan law firm to take Kairu Mbuthia and Kiingati Advocates to court for bogus claims.

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“We have engaged another Kenyan law firm to help us. I will not be representing the government in person. We gave the [Malawi] Embassy [in Kenya] instructions to hire a law firm there in order to deal with this matter,” Mhango said.

Kairu Mbuthia and Kiingati Advocates are said to have failed to provide services to the Malawi’s Embassy in Kenya despite the firm allegedly receiving $500,000 as payment.

The issue of payment to the law firm came in the open after an audit report of 2012-13 financial year by the Auditor General’s office shows anomalies in the way the Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid the Kenyan law firm even before a contract was signed.

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Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Isaac Munlo on Thursday apologised to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Pac) for the anomaly in the way the ministry appointed the lawyers Kairu Mbuthia and Kiingati Advocates.

“We have commenced the legal suit against the Kenyan law firm,” said Mhango.

He could, however, not confirm the figure of K360 million, saying he was not in the office to look at the figures.

Mhango also could not say when the legal proceedings are expected to end.

Pac Chairman Alekeni Menyani has since said the committee is instituting a public inquiry that will involve experts and the Malawi Law Society to probe how the ministry made huge payments to the Kenyan law firm.

The appointment letter of Kairu Mbuthia and Kiingati Advocates, whose copy The Daily Times has seen, was signed by the ministry’s former chief legal officer Suzgo Lungu.

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