The High Court in Mzuzu has set August 24, 2016 as the day it will start hearing a case of Secretary to the Treasury, Ronald Mangani, for failing to comply with a court order to give compensation to families of people who died during July 20, 2011 national demonstrations.
The court ordered the Treasury to compensate K31 million to the 10 families in the Northern Region whose cases were withdrawn from court after government, through the office of the Attorney General, proposed to resolve the matter outside the court.
The court on March 7, 2016 ordered that the compensation should be paid within 14 days but Treasury is yet to release the money despite the Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale, approval of names of the beneficiaries.
According to summons dated August 3, 2016 and signed by Assistant Registrar, Dickson Sankhulani, Mangani is summoned to court to explain the reasons that made his office unable to comply with the order.
“Take note that pursuant to the leave granted by the court on 2nd of August, 2016, the High Court will be moved on the 24th day of August, 2016 at 9 o’clock as Counsel can be heard on behalf of the Applicants for an order that the Respondent’s agents be committed to prison for disobeying Order of High Court dated the 7th day of March, 2016 requiring the Respondent to pay the Applicants the sum of K31,204,792 within 14 days after service of the order on respondent,” reads part of the summons.
Lawyer for the families, Leonard Mbulo, said in an interview that Mangani will be committed to prison if he fails to convince the court the reasons for his action.
Mbulo said the affected families need their compensation soon in order to educate the children that were orphaned as a result of the shooting by police officers.
However, Kaphale was noncommittal on whether or not he received the summons.
Both Mangani and spokesperson to Treasury, Nations Msowoya, did not pick up their phones when we called them severally
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues