A yet to be rolled-out mobile telephone operator Celcom, has dragged the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and American Palace to the Supreme Court of Appeal in a case which the High Court Commercial Division ruled in favour of the latter. Celcom is a subsidiary of Mulli Brothers Limited Holdings (MBL Holdings).
Government through the ministry allocated the land to American Palace Limited in 2006 and later in 2010 allocated the same piece of land to Celcom.
The parties are fighting for a piece of land equivalent to 4.699 hectares on title 13/177 situated at the city centre in Lilongwe.
Celcom sued the ministry through the Attorney General (AG) while American Palace which is the first respondent in the case, is been represented by Wapona Kita.
According to court files, the first responded was granted permission in 2007 to construct a fence but had not finished four years later.
Celcom, represented by Dumbani Kaluwa, argues that “the learned judge erred in law when he failed to take into account relevant considerations in exercising his equitable discretion.”
Kaluwa said the judge’s order for delivering up a vacant possession of the plot by the second defendant to the plaintiff was oppressive, impractical, unfair and unjust.
He further said the judge erroneously exercised his equitable discretion and erred in law when he held that the appellant should deliver possession of the plot to the first respondent.
Among the skeleton response filed in the court by Kita, the appeal advanced by the appellant should be dismissed because the skeleton arguments do not support the grounds of appeal.
“A skeleton argument must contain a numbered list of the points which the party wishes to make. These should both define and confine the areas of controversy. Each point should as concisely as the nature of the case allows” argues Kita.
Judge Ken Manda in 2003 ruled that the ministry wrongly offered the said piece of land to Celcom and ordered that the ministry should identify an equally suitable plot and allocate it to Celcom without any extra charge.
By the time the two parties dragged each other to court, Celcom had also erected a tower and other structures on the land.
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