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LCC, MHC protest settlement in water contamination case

Wapona Kika

Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Lilongwe City Council (LCC) have obtained a temporary stay at the Supreme Court of Appeal protesting the High Court ruling which ordered them to pay half of the compensation to 325 victims of Area 18 sewage contamination.

The two institutions have obtained the temporary stay pending the outcome of the appeal.

On March 15 2022, High Court Registrar Anthony Kapaswiche ordered the two institutions to settle 50 percent of K1.3 billion to the victims on the premise that the outcome of the Supreme Court of Appeal would either not be far from the K4.2 million per claimant or be maintained.

One of the lawyers for the Area 18 victims, Wapona Kita, said the matter was scheduled for hearing before the Supreme Court of Appeal on April 20 2022 in Blantyre.

“We are challenging the stay because we find it to have no basis,” he said.

The court has since directed that the appellants should file with the court and serve respondents with all documents in support of the application by April 4 2022 while the respondents should file and serve all processes by April 11 2022.

“Take notice that, during the hearing, each side shall be accorded a maximum of 15 minutes to present its case,” the direction reads.

The partial settlement of the compensation package means that both LCC and MHC needed to pay K682.5 million each, which represents 50 percent of the damages.

On December 13 last year, MHC filed a notice of appeal while LCC filed an application with the High Court, praying for a suspension of the enforcement of the K1.4 billion compensation pending the outcome of the appeal.

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