The Constitutional Court has ruled against an application by lawyers representing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and President Peter Mutharika who asked the court to determine costs of withdrawal of witnesses by UTM’s Saulos Chilima.
Lawyers for MEC and Mutharika wanted Chilima to meet the costs for withdrawing his remaining 34 witnesses in the ongoing election case.
In his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Dingiswayo Madise said the court will not determine any cost.
Justice Madise said: “The costs are awarded at the discretion of the court and the court will not determine any cost as the matter is of public interest and costs should not be used to discourage people from seeking justice on the matter.”
On September 12, UTM lawyer, Chikosa Silungwe, announced that his side had decided to parade only four witnesses instead of the expected 38 with the aim of expediting the case.
The only four witnesses who were paraded in court include Saulos Chilima, Mirriam Gwalidi, Darlington Ndasauka and Bright Kawaga.
The development prompted lawyers for President Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral commission applying to the court to determine on the costs that they incurred when collecting evidence in relation to the 34 withdrawn witnesses.
Meanwhile, the second petitioner, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has begun testifying in the case.