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Supreme Court dismisses Blue Night appeal case

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By Peter Kanjere:

AMONG THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AGAINST THE DONATION—Gift Trapence

Supreme Court Judge Dunstan Mwaungulu Tuesday dismissed governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and four parastatals’ application to overrule a High Court judgement by Justice Zione Ntaba.

DPP and the statutory corporations were against the Zomba-based High Court Judge’s ruling made in May 2018, dismissing the governing party’s plea to discharge the case and that the civil society organisations (CSOs), which took the matter to court, had no sufficient interest in the issue.

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Ntaba ruled that the CSOs had the right to ask DPP for a refund of the money it allegedly received from Lilongwe Water Board, Lilongwe City Council, Blantyre City Council (BCC) and Mzuzu City Council as a donation to the governing party’s Blue Night.

The CSOs’ lawyer, Wesley Mwafulirwa, Tuesday confirmed that Mwaungulu delivered the ruling in Blantyre.

“In his judgement, he [Justice Mwaungulu] agreed with us that the application for the stay order by BCC should be dismissed. It means that our application is still effective and valid,” Mwafulirwa said.

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He is representing Centre for the Development of People, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, Youth and Society, Human Rights Consultative Committee and Living stonia Synod’s Church and Society Programme who are against the K13.5 million which DPP allegedly received from the public institutions during a fundraising dinner and dance held at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on July 29 2017.

State President and DPP leader Peter Mutharika and First Lady Gertrude Mutharika attended the Blue Night.

In her earlier judgement, Ntaba directed that the matter be taken for mediation by Judge Redson Kapindu of the High Court at Zomba Registry.

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