A review of the K69 million legal costs that former president Peter Mutharika and former Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, were ordered to pay failed to commence Monday and the case was adjourned to Friday this week.
Mutharika and Muhara—were ordered by the High Court to personally shoulder costs in a court case where their decisions to send on leave Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice of Appeal Edward Twea was challenged.
The two are fighting the costs and were Monday expected to present their plea to the High Court that the execution of the legal costs should be put on hold and the costs reviewed.
Lawyers representing Mutharika and Muhara and those representing the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Association of Magistrates in Malawi (AMM) and the Malawi Law Society (MLS) met in the chambers of High Court deputy Registrar Anthony Kapaswiche where HRDC, AMM and MLS pushed for the dismissal of the application.
Kapaswiche is set to give a ruling on Friday on whether the costs review should be entertained or thrown out.
HRDC’s and AMM’s lawyer Khumbo Soko told The Daily Times that they have asked the court to dismiss the application because they “thought the process for the application was irregular”.
“We raised a number of objections; mainly because we were not given sufficient time to respond. It is very clear that we were required to be given a 21-day notice, but we were given 12 days only,” Soko said.
One of the defence lawyers, Charles Mhango, argued that the stand by the three entities to have the application thrown out was baseless.
“What they are crying for is that they need more time to respond to our arguments in favour of the review.” Mhango said.
He further disclosed that an application for the review of costs was made on March 26.
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.