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K145 million case ruling September 14

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BY FESTON MALEKEZO:

MBVUNDULA—The matter raises pertinent
issues

The Supreme Court of Appeal has set September 14 2018 as the date for its ruling on whether Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Zameer Karim’s bank accounts should remain frozen.

It will also make a ruling on whether the matter should be withdrawn.

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The court convened before Justice Rezine Mzikamanda Monday, the purpose being to consider an application from defendants, DPP and Karim, who want it to strike out the notice of appeal which Mzuzu-based organisation Youth and Society (Yas) took.

Representing DPP, lawyer Chancy Gondwe argued that the matter borders on abuse of the court process because a position was already settled.

“We invited the Justice of Appeal to consider the fact that Yas is just an NGO [non-governmental organisation] which has no mandate, in terms of our constitutional and legal set-up, to represent the interests of Malawians. We argued before the Justice of Appeal that the order for stay be discharged as the appellant has no sufficient interest in the matter,” Gondwe said.

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Yas, through lawyers Bright Theu and Lozindaba Mbvundula of Ritz Attorneys at Law, said the matter is arguable and does not amount to abuse of the court process.

In an interview after court deliberations, Mbvundula said the matter raises pertinent issues.

“It is not manifestly and obviously unsustainable and it raises pertinent issues. Again, the matter has sufficient prospects of success because there are constitutional amendments regarding the rule of standing; therefore, it is something that should be re-examined,” she said.

On the application to have bank accounts remain frozen, Mbvundula said if the bank accounts are not frozen, the idea of going to the Supreme Court of Appeal would be defeated.

Earlier, the Supreme Court of Appeal granted Yas an order staying the decision of High Court Judge Jack N’riva to unfreeze DPP and Pioneer Investment bank accounts linked to the K2.7 billion police food rations deal.

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