High Court Registrar reserves ruling on Mutharika, Muhara stay application

High Court Registrar Antony Kapaswiche has reserved ruling on the application by former President Peter Mutharika and former Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara to suspend an order for the payment of K69 million legal costs.

The two were ordered to pay the legal costs over their role in sending Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice Edward Twea on forced leave pending retirement.

Their lawyer Mwayi Banda said the application for a stay is in accordance with the application for review of the costs.

“Basically what we are saying is that we applied for a review of the costs which has been scheduled for 26th April 2021, now before that review is heard before the court, the applicants have already started enforcing proceedings.

“Our argument is simple, the very same amount which is going to be enforced now is what is going to be under review, so it is not proper that the Court should suspend the enforcement and review the cost and later on the applicants can enforce it,” argued Banda.

But responding to the application, lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa, representing Malawi Law Society, argued that enforcement of the payment of the costs should not be suspended.

“As MLS we are saying that the costs shouldn’t be suspended, they pay and if they don’t pay, they should be forced, they may be garnished or their property seized,” said Mwafulirwa.

Khumbo Soko, lawyer representing the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) said the application lacks basis.

“We are basically we are asking what are we doing here, because these issues have already been transversed and the court has already given its opinion so we can’t be going around the same,” said Soko.

The matter has been adjourned to April 15, 2021 for ruling.

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