Former president Peter Mutharika and former chief secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara have applied for a review of the K69 million the High Court ordered them to pay.
The two have also applied for a stay order pending the review process.
The court ordered the two to pay Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Association of Magistrates (AM) for their involvement in the alleged plot to remove Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice of Appeal Edward Twea from office.
They were ordered to pay K26 million to HRDC and AM as well as K43 million to the Malawi Law Society.
HRDC and AM lawyer Khumbo Soko confirmed the development, saying the respondents have applied for a stay.
He said the case is coming before the Registrar on April 9.
Soko added that he had started enforcement proceedings.
“Enforcement proceedings are essentially where you try to send either Sheriffs or ask third parties who may hold funds on behalf of the judgement debtors,” Soko said.
Lawyer representing Mutharika and Muhara, Charles Mhango, confirmed making an application, indicating that: “This is a fresh application for stay pending a review of the costs.”
On March 24 this year, High Court Judge Kenyata Nyirenda dismissed an application from the defence, which wanted the court to put on hold the payment order.
On November 20 2020, Supreme Court of Appeal’s Justice Charles Mkandawire, while winding up the case he was presiding over as a High Court judge, ordered Mutharika and Muhara to pay costs incurred in the case— where they were found guilty of forcing the Chief Justice and Twea to proceed on leave in June last year, pending retirement.
On June 12 2020, Muhara issued a public notice explaining that the two had to proceed on leave to clear their days pending retirement, which led to HRDC, AM and lawyers holding demonstrations as they felt the decision infringed on the doctrine of separation of powers.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.